Aug 282016
 

Now You See Me 2 is not the type of movie that will tax your mind but instead is a perfectly serviceable caper-comedy, one that succeeds more on the chemistry with the ensemble, with newcomer Lizzy Caplan being the highlight, rather than anything to do with the thin plot, though I did appreciate some of the magic even if it’s CGI-generated.

 

 

Now You See Me 2
(2016)

Genre(s): Crime, Adventure, Comedy
Lionsgate | PG13 – 129 min. – $42.99 | September 6, 2016

Date Published: 08/28/2016 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Jon M. Chu
Writer(s): Boaz Yakin & Edward Riccourt (characters), Ed Solomon & Peter Chiarelli (story), Ed Solomon (screenplay)
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K UHD, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: HEVC (UHD), MPEG-4 AVC (Blu-ray)
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 3.25/5


Note: This review contains some spoilers.

Now You See Me 2 is a movie that’s not as smart as it thinks it is or as bad as the critics say it is either. No, this isn’t a particularly good film but like the first outing, it is at least a fine time-waster, not much more than that and although I was mostly entertained, it’s yet another example of a sequel not many exactly asked for, of course the overseas market was the saving grace and why another sequel is set for release in the next year or two.

The story takes place a year after the events from the first movie with the Horsemen — J. Daniel Atlas (JESSE EISENBERG), Merritt McKinney (WOODY HARRELSON) and Jack Wilder (DAVE FRANCO) — who have been in hiding awaiting further instructions from The Eye: secret society of magicians. One member, Henley (previously played by Isla Fisher) has left the group and ultimately her replacement is a woman named Lula (LIZZY CAPLAN), a bit of a wild child with no filter though she can keep up with the best of them when it comes to magic.

After a year of laying low and not knowing their latest play, team leader FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (MARK RUFFALO), who is under further scrutiny at his job, lets them in on their new mission: to expose tech giant Owen Case (BEN LAMB) whose software secretly steals the data of its users. And at first things are going well but soon enough their own show is hijacked and their secrets exposed like Jack faking his death and exposing Rhodes as their leader. Upon their escape, they jump down a shoot and somehow land in China where they meet Merritt’s twin brother, Chase McKinney (HARRELSON), who is working for a tech prodigy Walter Mabry (DANIEL RADCLIFFE). Walter himself had faked his own death but works behind the scenes and was once a business partner to Owen Case before Case stole Walter’s company.

Now Walter has his own mission for the Horsemen. He wants them to steal a device, created by Case, that can decrypt and access any device around the world. Noble endeavor aside, the Horsemen resist but Walter threatens their lives and further exposure, leaving them with little choice but to plan and pull off the seemingly impossible task. Meanwhile, Dylan alludes his former bosses and even springs Thaddeus Bradley (MORGAN FREEMAN) while Walter has an ulterior motive, one of revenge at the behest of his father, Arthur Tresler (MICHAEL CAINE) whom the horsemen stole millions from him in a very public and humiliating manor, distributing the dollars to victims of his company.

There’s no doubt Now You See Me 2 has an absolutely convoluted plot and if I even cared about that part, or it was a major factor, it would make the movie entirely unbearable. But as with the first movie, I enjoyed this sequel more for the cast rather than the writing or so-called clever twists. The ensemble is mostly likeable from Woody Harrelson, taking on dual roles, Dave Franco and his seemingly consistent smug face (a Franco family trait it would seem), the sultry and sexy Lizzy Caplan, Mark Ruffalo even if he doesn’t get a whole lot to do, and yes, even Jesse Eisenberg who I know many will never like as he does often have the heir of douch-ery that is on display at times. This is not to forget the likes Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and newcomer Daniel Radcliffe who seemed to be enjoying playing a bad guy for once. Even so, this ensemble works well together masking a basic and lame plot.

The first movie had the benefit by being directed by action connoisseur Louis Leterrier, for better or worse if you look at his resume, but this go-around Jon M. Chu takes the directing chair and, I guess I can say his direction was adequate though it’s nothing special considering a thin plot. He does at least give the film some energy and ups the fun quotient fairly well; some moments to be more entertaining than the first film.

In the end, Now You See Me 2 is the type of watch and move kind of films. It’ll fill two hours well enough but it’s doubtful you’ll think twice about it a day or two later and certainly doesn’t have the staying or replay value compared to something like Ocean’s Eleven or Ocean’s Thirteen (O12 was at times awful). Otherwise, I found this sequel to be a fun time if you don’t go in over thinking its contrived plot.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This 2-disc release (UHD, BD) comes with a glossy and reflective slip cover (with rounded edges). Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Jon M. Chu offers his thoughts on directing the sequel providing bits of info on shooting locations, the cast and story. Nothing extraordinary but it’s an interesting enough of a listen.

The Art of the Ensemble (21:11; HD) is a featurette on the all-star cast, their bond following the first movie and includes interviews with them and the filmmakers and behind-the-scenes footage.

You Can’t Look Away (17:14; HD) looks at the worldwide filming locations (Macao, London) and set designs on the film.

Bringing Magic to Life (16:09; HD) breaks down the new magic tricks used in the movie and includes more interviews, one with Co-Producer David Copperfield.

 


4K UHD VIDEO – 4.75/5, BD VIDEO — 4.5/5


Now You See Me 2 takes to the stage on 4K UHD presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and an astounding 2160p transfer. As one would expect, this looks brilliant in UHD with fantastic colors especially during the Macau sequences where neons are prevalent. Detail also is amazing looking sharp throughout and there were no discernible artifacts, aliasing or other flaws.

The Blu-ray is more or less the same with ever-so-slightly less pop in regards to colors. The 1080p transfer still looks great and detail is nicely defined.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


Both the UHD and Blu-ray discs come with a Dolby Atmos track which sounds great. The biggest draw is probably with the score by Brian Tyler (Furious 7, upcoming The Mummy remake) though dialogue levels sound nice and clean and the action-centric scenes provide the most depth making use of every available channel, fully utilizing all the (relatively) new Atmos option has to offer. For Blu-ray owners out there with older systems, the track does output Dolby TrueHD 7.1 which surely sounds just about as good.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, Now You See Me 2 is not the type of movie that will tax your mind but instead is a perfectly serviceable caper-comedy, one that succeeds more on the chemistry with the ensemble, with newcomer Lizzy Caplan being the highlight, rather than anything to do with the thin plot, though I did appreciate some of the magic even if it’s CGI-generated. This UHD combo pack released by Lionsgate offers excellent video and audio transfers and a good selection of bonus material.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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