With a star-studded cast to top even the first film, Now You See Me 2 blends Penn & Teller with Ocean’s Eleven, proving to be wildly entertaining, clever, and dazzling. It’s a lark of epic proportions!
In hiding, Atlas (Jamie Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), and Jack Wilder (James Franco) continue to wait for their next ‘assignment’ to be handed down by The Eye, a secret group of magicians. Ultimately, they are set against Owen Case (Ben Lamb), who is using his own software to fleece his customers.
Joining Eisenberg, Harrelson, and Franco in this ensemble are the returning Mark Ruffalo, and the villainous Michael Caine. But Morgan Freeman (he’s literally in everything, right?), Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, and Jay Chou join the fun here, too.
More flash and style than substance, I still found NYSM2 quite delightful. Maybe it’s because magic and illusions are staples in our house (we watch Penn & Teller’s show weekly) or maybe it’s because there’s something about the Robin Hood-esque stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Either way, I’m thankful that the film did well commercially if not critically, because I’d happily sign up for a third outing.
Ultimately, there’s something to be said about what it means to accept a challenge, to use your gifts for the good of others. There’s plenty to be considered about friendship, about trust, and about bonds that supersede everything else. You’ll see them there, but you better keep your eyes alert: if you blink, you might miss it.