Review: 8.2 out of 10 stars.
This is a sequel of Now You See Me, with lots of explaining why things happened and how they got to this point? Mainly with the beloved excellent and impressive Mark Ruffalo. Fun thrill filled movie with lots of good illusion and glittering scenes that excite the visual sense and mind of the audience.
The last movie has lots of unexplained details and the visual and glitter gave the audience one scene after another with wonder and more visual and sound stimulation. The audience left the last one after would start questioning what and why.
This sequel served a great one to go back in time and space to get to the bottom of it. It has had the same style of sparks and magical feel, with all characters but the female horseman replaced by the decent Lizzy Caplan) and introduced Daniel Radcliff, Jay Chou and Tsai Chin.
You went through the journey with the characters all the way to the most deceptive place, casinos. And where else? The exotic Macau. The quick camera moves (and sometimes sped up reel to create the special effects), magic created by CGI was mostly very impressive.
The movie focused a lot more on drama, family and revenge, similar to the first one, so that you are watching a full drama with cool elaborate shows on a massive size scale.
The acting was solid for all except Daniel Radcliff. He just seemed to have trouble graduating from Harry Potter. All his post HP roles were less than stellar and trying too hard. His role in this movie was crucial and he simply could not pull it off. Fortunately the rest of the main cast had equal screen time and all delivered a very believable plot.
Caine is very believable in both movies as being a ruthless businessman and evil. Harrelson is actually quite good being quirky without having a too big of an ego. Freeman did not try to use his voice as weapon. Rather, he focused on his true acting as a calm on the outside, sophisticated and mysterious inside man that keeps you wondering until the end. Eisenberg being the lead of the horsemen was looking comfortable in his role and delivered his line better than the last one. Lizzy Caplan was a surprise as a replacement of the female horseman. She has done a good job, on par with the rest even joining the game on the sequel. Dave Franco with his constant rosy cheeks, looked quite taken by Lizzy Caplan naturally. His physical charm has overwhelmed his acting that was okay. Jay Chou and Tsai Chin do not have many screen time. Chin obviously was not a seasoned actor. Chin was decent with her few lines but both her and Chou seemed to be a bit rigid on the interaction.
The unfortunate part, however, is the twist and ending. The twist, similar to the first one, was explained in details to make sure the audience did not have to ask. But the twist was with too little effort to build and was snobbish comparing with the buildup. The scenes looked fake and had too many holes. It also looked like the actors were rushed to make that scene.
The ending was a bit forceful and the explanation was slightly weak, though still believable. In a way, we all have sympathy in all of them. There is like no bad guy in the movie, after all. They all explained why they did things and we believed them. Guess that is what magic is all about. Make believe.
The making of both movies have all scenes filmed in night time, dim gloomy weather outside or extremely busy sparkling indoors such as casinos or packed stores in the full neon lit signs streets. But the ending is always in a very bright outdoor and yield to a black and white with some grayish in between of the furniture. The contrast has a metaphorical of right from wrong, black and white, but always with some gray in between.
Keywords: magic, illusion, drama, mystery, crime, comedy, moviereview
— Spoiler Ahead —
The sinking vault where Mark Ruffalo was being put in and sunk, just like how his father died in the same vault, was impressive and very real as you can tell he was underwater and tried to get out. The ultimate key to get out delivered personally by Tsai Chin, part of the eye, was done brilliantly and sentimental. The Lucky Fool magic shop scene was how Dylan discovered everything has a meaning. Ruffalo has done a great job of looking confused, sad, happy, grateful and full of emotions. You can feel his pain. When he was upset, it shows right through the screen. Even on the flight to Macau with Freeman’s character when he burst out, was incredible. Freeman kept his calm as he rattled the man’s lifelong anger against someone whom he thought had killed his father, yet had to rely on him to save his horsemen.
Woody Harrelson’s twin character was fun and had a quite different look thanks to good makeup. The twin’s character is important to bring the plot together, a clever way to bring a new character but who is also familiar to the heart. The essential role is how it brought down the horsemen in the first place. Harrelson did not get too much extra screen time since most of the time the 2 characters appear together.
The explaining of how they fell into the tunnel supposedly to go to the truck but woke up in Macau was pretty funny and satisfying. It’s believable.
The noen lit scenes of Macau was fun filled and good visual.
Final scene was flimsy with the cast being thrown out of the plane. You can just tell the cast was trying to look like they were being thrown out.
Daniel Radicliff’s character being the son who took revenge seemed very nerdy and felt more like for his own ego rather than for his father played by Michael Caine. The ironic part about Michael Caine’s character at the end telling him whether he could be his real son was actually mindblowing, making the audience scratch their heads as the 2 were just selfish.