Now You See Me: Second Act (2016)

Ok, I’m exhausted. This is like the third post in 24hrs. I’m just going to do a short one anyway.

I had some pretty low expectations for this show because I looked up the film’s ratings online before going to catch it (I hardly ever catch a film completely cold… I’m too afraid to waste money on a bad film) and they were pretty uninspiring. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was well-entertained throughout this film.

There were some good laughs, the acting and delivery of the lines were solid as was the plot. I think.

I think I’d’ve been able to tell better if I had rewatched the first film before going to catch this one in the cinemas. And this is one of my chief complaints about the film. With Now You See Me coming out three years before in 2013, I could barely remember what that film was about other than the fact that I remember enjoying it thoroughly.

Second Act however requires that you remember who the antagonist from the first film is, and what the big reveal at the end of the first film was. Not overly demanding on the part of the viewer, for sure, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember these two points from the first film so I spent half my attention during this film trying desperately to recall what happened in the first film.

I have a feeling I would have appreciated what the film did with Mark Ruffalo’s character much much more if I could only remember the particulars of the first film. So my recommendation is to rewatch that film before catching this one.

My other complaint about this film is that unlike the first film, the filmmakers were not quite as careful in drawing the line between stage magician magic and movie magic.

What was truly unforgettable about the first film was the opening sequence where Jesse Eisenberg’s character flips through a deck of cards and asks you (his audience in the film and YOU, the film’s audience) very quickly to pick a card and remember it before revealing that card with mind-boggling accuracy on the side of a building.

That scene captured the charm and beauty of the whole film. The ability of the trick to break the fourth wall and pull you in as if you were one of the audience members within the film was a truly novel experience. This aspect of the first film was lost in the scale and grandeur of the heist in Second Act. Unfortunately.

That being said, if you’re going to catch this film, look out for the stunningly and thoughtfully choreographed magician’s fight scene full of smoke and mirrors in the film. That’s a nice physical scene that brings real characterization to the film and real genre specificity to the fight.

Yup. That’s it from me on Now You See Me: Second Act. It’s a fun film despite its flaws. I’m glad I caught it 🙂

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