MAGIC IS FUN
The sole reason that the Now You See Me franchise works is that magic is fun. Throughout Now You See Me 2, the audience is as valuable a member of the team as each of the Horsemen. The magic-peddling Robin-Hood's count on the anonymity of crowds, the engagement of each person bearing witness to their tricks, and the loyalty of their fans to help them stay the iconic, free performers they have come to be. The good news is that Now You See Me 2 has plenty of magic mixed in with all the practicality.
NEW CAST MEMBERS KEEP THE FUN ALIVE
There were quite a few additions to the cast for this chapter in the Horsemen's saga. Daniel Radcliffe is engaging and beguiling as the mysterious source behind some truly surprising twists. Sanaa Lathan and David Warshofsky are an interesting duo, although they didn't get enough screen time to truly steal any part of the show. Tsai Chin and Jay Chou are bit players in screen time only. They provide some serious gravitas to the middle portion of the film.
LIZZY CAPLAN LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
Lizzy Caplan stepped into Isla Fisher's shoes as the female component of this team of elite magicians with gusto. Not only was her character, Lula, a breath of fresh air amongst a few stale jokes here and there, but she was consistently hilarious, no matter what bit she was playing out.
THINGS GET A LITTLE CONVOLUTED
In this case, much of the convolution comes between Atlas and Dylan. A small part of the story, yes, but having these two at odds over something as unimportant as who's in charge is just one step too far. We understand why they needed to drive a wedge between the two, but we just can't help but think there may have been a better way to go about it.
WHAT WAS WITH THAT ENDING?
The ending of Now You See Me 2 leaves a lot more unexplained than should be allowed. At one point, you see all four Horsemen staring around them at photos and evidence that the Eye has been working hard behind the scenes, orchestrating far more than they originally thought. What seems the most unfair is that we never get a chance to see what has them so amazed. We are then quickly whisked off to a secret door behind a curtain that leads to a mysterious stairwell that we never see the bottom of.
This is yet another fun summer film, not meant to be looked at too closely, but just complicated enough to keep you engaged from beginning to end. It doesn't concern any taboo topics, and it's an easy movie to escape into when you just need to get away from real life for a while.