Now You See Me: The Second Act

Emma Castle
8th Jun 2016

Do you like magic tricks? Do you like Macau? If so, there are plenty of reasons to go and see the sequel to Now You See Me. The Four Horsemen get back together with the addition of a female (!) magician and proceed to get themselves into trouble with the FBI, a crooked tech magnate and a jailbird Morgan Freeman.

The magic steals the show with plenty of playing cards flying around the screen in dazzling sleight of hand tricks, rain falling in the wrong direction, doves becoming reattached to their dismembered heads, and the ever-popular underwater safe break, to keep pulses racing.

Plot holes abound as this slick group of outlaws travel their way from Las Vegas, to Macau, to London. There’s no luggage to account for their multiple wardrobe changes and apparently magicians can make props appear from thin air. If only real life travel were so simple.

But why worry about such mortal concerns? If you’re happy to suspend disbelief, there’s plenty to keep you occupied; the impossibly handsome ‘young Tom Cruise’ face of Jack Wilder played by Dave Franco (fun fact: he’s James Franco’s little brother), the sassy quips of Lizzy Caplan’s Lula as she navigates her token female status and Morgan Freeman who is meant to be Thaddeus Bradley, a master magician, but who is essentially playing Morgan Freeman. Again.

The backdrop of Macau’s Chinese quarter and flashy casinos are like unspoken cast members, flaunting their exotic beauty and sparkly goodies in sexy shots. It certainly begs the question if the film is sponsored to some degree. Is that someone from the Macau Tourism Board in the background, waving a Visit Macau banner?

The biggest highlight is the Harry Potter gags surrounding Daniel Radcliffe’s appearance in the story. He crops up as an English villain and there is no end to the magic jokes, an opportunity that writer Ed Solomon makes the most of.

All in all, this is a slick-looking but ultimately fluffy film. The convoluted plot is carried entirely by frenetic visuals. Five stars for a braindead Friday night. Two stars for a day of the week when you want to have a cohesive thought.

Now You See Me: The Second Act is in Australian cinemas now.