Monday, 4 July 2016

REVIEW: NOW YOU SEE ME 2

3.5/5

Now You Don't.

129 Minutes. Starring: Jessie Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Radcliffe, Jay Chou, Michael Caine & Morgan Freeman. Director: Jon M. Chu.

Trick or treat? Just how good will 'Now You See Me 2' be now the wool of the outstanding original is no longer pulled over our audience eyes? Which card will you choose? Well I don't think you ever saw this coming. But here's the reveal...the magic of the first film is still here...they were just holding it behind their back the whole time. Now you thought you saw it all. Now you don't! Sequels are never really ever meant to match up to the originals-unless you're in a hall of mirrors-let alone up the ante. That is unless you're a 'Winter Soldier' or engaging in 'Civil War'. But in a recentley disappointing blockbuster Summer season of sequels-from a two decades in the making 'Independence Day' to an X-Men 'Apocalypse'-the four horsemen riding around the magic circle are here to show you that was all an illusion. They've had you all duped. Under the stepped up, Jack Nicholson award winning direction of 'G.I. Joe's retaliating Jon M. Chu and the executive producing, magic mentoring and guidance of David Copperfield, no strings, these king and queens are all aces Jack. Rabbiting down a 'Home Alone' style wormhole to be lost outside New York in China. Before heading back to the Thames of London for a New Year finale that has more fireworks than this pictures fourth of July U.K. release date. Lets see David Blaine match these dynamos sitting in a box watching. Was that your card?

Now somewhere in the world Uri Geller is snapping spoons, because this is unbelievable. But it's all real. Even if a lie hides beneath that belief. So let's hear it for the horsemen...because they're the truth. Some may believe the greatest trick Jessie Eisenberg may have pulled was convincing the Dark Knight that the devil wasn't dead. But in cutting off his Lex Luthor locks for that 'Justice League' bald look you have to give a hand to the man that won the 'Batman v Superman' uncivil war. This geek of Cera culture shows you don't have to wear spandex to be a hero (See Also: 'American Ultra'), especially if you can even fool the worlds greatest detective. Speaking of superheroes how good a year is Mark Ruffalo having? Even if his Incredible Hulk wasn't invited to his Avengers Captain America and Iron Man's get down. It's ok fellow snubbed God Thor is having him over for 'Ragnarok'...sounds delicious. Still the spotlights on the ever underrated and on top of his game Ruffalo, who these days is catching Academy nominations like his wrestling characters do foxes. And better than ever here you'll like it when he gets magic. Ruffalo ruffles more than a few turtle doves. And how about a few cheers for Woody in this big-three? No not the Tom Toy cowboy with a snake in his boots, but the kid that used to tend bar in Boston and now rocks the trillby instead of the stetson. The cards may not always be in 'The Hunger Games' franchise supporters favour but this Derren Brown doesn't have to hypnotise you to make you believe he's the coolest cat alive. Let alone the most versatile in this acting charade...you've all seen 'True Detetctive' Season one right?! Now hows this for a dynamic double act? Put him next to the kid Dave Franco and it only gets cooler for the 'Bad Neighbors' and '21 Jump Street' red cup, millenial crowd. No longer just James' younger brother or an understudy stage-hand. This guys talent? It rhymes with 'grape'!

Ta-daa! Still like Jennifer Garner flicking cards at a young Leonardo DiCaprio this sequel had to go fish after losing Isla Fisher from the first film (we wonder if this had anything to do with that near death drowing tank stunt that actually nearly killed her?). But in reeling in 'The Interview' and 'The Night Before' star Lizzy Caplan they find an actually endearing character that anyone else would have made annoying. Because this former 'Mean Girl', 'Masters Of Sex' star knows comedy like she knows Seth. Like Woody being the welcome distraction of light relief whilst the trick is unfolding before your eyes...just check out how people react as they free-fall through that plastic, construction tubing. This all-star hand has many more willing volunteers up it's sleeve too. From the actor/singer who played Rogen's 'Green Hornet' partner made famous by Bruce Lee, Jay Chou, to not one, but two of the legendary greats in the form of the voice of Morgan Freeman and the man whose name is Michael Caine. But with both veterans on their trademark valuable supporting form, just like in 'The Dark Knight' trilogy which starring player do you really give that prestigious 'and' billing too? Still in this three card bad guy Monty we need wonder no more where the real magic lies...it's with the wizard. As 'Harry Potter' gone Hagrid bearded and bad, Daniel Radcliffe shows he really can cast quite the spell on the dark side like Voldermort. You're a villain Harry! Expelliarmus! Just when you thought these magicians couldn't strike and catch lightning in a bottle twice they pull another rabbit out the hat for their ace in the hole. Doing the impossible like with one abracadabra card trick scene and even breaking the magicians code and showing us how it's all done like Penn and Teller, to prove this surprise summer sequel hit isn't just C.G.I. fooling us with its epic effects. Even if 'Now You See Me 2' has missed a trick by not being called 'Now You Don't' (or by not keeping 'The Second Act' original title at least), there is still a pack of ace high films for a franchise on deck. Although a trilogy could get slightly out of hand. Even if we just can't wait for their next trick. It's a kind of magic. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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