Now You See Me 2

The unexpected sequel to a rather enjoyable caper, Now You See Me 2 continues to magic version of Ocean’s Eleven with a rather talented cast, ridiculous story and over-the-top set pieces.

With the powerhouses of Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Michael Caine returning to chew up the scenery and joined by the charismatic presence of Daniel Radcliffe, The Horsemen (Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Dave Franco) and joined by Lizzy Caplan in the kooky, Lula.

As they attempt to rebuild their shattered reputation, a trip to China sees them drawn into a tech heist masterminded by Walter Mabry (Radcliffe), who is closer to their past than any of them can imagine.

“He always had something up his sleeve.”

Where Now You See Me 2 excels is in its set pieces that drive the action and link the narrative.  Magic is used effectively – disappearing, stealth and deception, the hallmarks of all good tricks – although, how much of it is magic-magic and how much is movie-magic is sure to keep people guessing.

If nothing else, the actors seem to be having fun – Radcliffe is hamming it up as the villain, Caine and Freeman look comfortable as the elder statesmen of film, Ruffalo gives it his all, as does Harrelson.  It’s in the Horsemen that the film is at its best – Caplan and Franco have superb chemistry, whilst Jesse Eisenberg has the socially awkward thing down to a tee.

The story isn’t the most cohesive of things, but this type of caper isn’t supposed to be intricately plotted.  Look back at Ocean’s Eleven, The Thomas Crown Affair, Indiana Jones and, much later, the Fast franchise for capers that are more about camaraderie and adventure then they are about perfect plots – sometimes films can be enjoyed for their silliness, and this is a prime example.

Still, forget the inconsistencies and overacting, and enjoy it for what it is… a romp.