Star Rating:

Now You See Me 2

Director: Jon M. Chu

Actors: Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Eisenberg, Daniel Radcliffe, Dave Franco

Release Date: Monday 4th July 2016

Genre(s): Action

Running time: 115 minutes

Now You See Me 2 adds to the already impressively starry cast of the original but forgets to bring back the wit and charm that made The Four Horsemen's first outing so enjoyable.

Like a good magic trick, Now You See Me ended with a big reveal. FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), who'd spent the whole movie chasing magicians cum thieves The Four Horsemen, turned out to be the one pulling the strings behind the scenes all along. It was a nice twist that capped a fun movie.Roughly ten minutes into Now You See Me 2 you realise that the story should have ended there.

The plot picks up roughly eighteen months after the original and The Four Horsemen don't seem to have been up to much since then. Aside from in group bickering andIsla Fisher’s Henley leaving that is. She's replaced by fast talking Lula (Lizzy Caplan) who aims to bring 'kookiness' to the film but it's always just slightly off target. The goal that they've supposedly been working towards since the first movie is to be able to work together as a 'single organism'. Something Rhodes claims they're close to, despite the fact that they've only just added a new member.

Rhodes meanwhile is still hiding in plain sight as an FBI agent supposedly investigating the whereabouts of The Four Horsemen. However his Clouseau-esque theories about their activities will make you wonder how he's managed to keep his job for so long.We also delve into his backstory which leads to a laboured subplot that pairs him with Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), the man he put behind bars at the end of the first movie. While perhaps a necessary move to bring Bradley back into the action, it effectively sidelines Rhodes for a large portion of the movie which is a strange decision when you have an actor as charismatic as Ruffalo in the role.

Daniel Radcliffe takes on villain duties this time out and he has a memorable intro that promises so much quirk but by the end he's reduced to being the blandest of villains. He does however set The Four Horseman up for some of the movies best magic set pieces. The visual trickery on display is impressive throughout with a sequence in a vault involving getting the whole team to hide a playing card from the world's worst security guards being the highlight.

Now You See Me 2 is a fun movie at times and there are moments when the energy really surges but it's hampered by trying to insert an emotional arc for Ruffalo's Rhodes which takes away from the fun rather than giving us the emotional stakes the writers were aiming for.