'Now You See Me 2' - Movie Review

I saw "Now You See Me 2" on a flight from Beijing to Toronto - which means a minuscule screen and possible editing "for content" by the airline. I watched it because I quite enjoyed the first movie (no masterpiece, but a lot of fun), and they have a good cast.

The movie picks up about a year after the previous one, with the crew still in hiding because they're wanted by police. They plan a big "magical" take-down of a duplicitous tech giant, but are themselves caught in someone else's web. Trapped and manipulated, they're forced to do someone else's bidding as they struggle to free themselves.

The problem is the same as it often is with Hollywood movies: sequels are thought to have to "go big or go home." Stunts and tricks are bigger, and even more importantly, plot twists are bigger. That's trouble, as the writers seem to think it's going to be really cool to reverse most of what you knew about the cast from the previous movie. I can't explain this much without blowing significant parts of the end of the movie, but let's just say it's too much and not well played. In large part because this isn't a drama, it's a spectacle, and they don't give enough time to the drama - all that stuff is just rushed over.

When the movie is more visual spectacle than drama, a tiny screen doesn't do the movie any favours. But a big screen wouldn't have helped this: the drama is too thin and the reliance on flash too significant. Just bad, and a waste of a hell of a cast.