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Laramie Movie Scope:
Now You See Me 2

The revenge of the Tresslers

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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June 23, 2016 -- I saw this one in McMinnville, Oregon while I was visiting there, and was a bit disappointed in it. I sat next to a couple, only a few people were in the theater for the matinee, and the guy asked me if I'd seen the first film, which of course I had. He remarked what a good film it was. Well, at least two of us thought so.

Like most sequels, this isn't as good as the original film, but it does have some good characters. Most of the original characters and actors return from the first film, except that Henley Reeves (played by Isla Fisher) is replaced by Lula (played by Lizzy Caplan of “The Interview”). The best new character is the deliciously evil Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter movies).

The complex plot has some unexpected developments involving Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) and the late magician Lionel Shrike (Richard Laing). This part of the story doesn't make a lot of sense, and may be almost impossible to follow for those who haven't seen the first film.

Criminal mastermind Walter Mabry kidnaps the magicians known as the Four Horsemen and forces them to steal a valuable computer chip for him. The Four Horsemen, J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg) Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) along with Lula, have been hiding out since pulling off a big bank heist and a multi million dollar cyber crime against billionaire Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine) as detailed in the first movie.

The Four Horsemen, along with their leader, Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) are lured out of hiding by messages from the mysterious magical society known as The Eye. The Eye is yet another plot element from the original film that is referenced here. Walter Mabry also has the aid of another magician, Chase McKinney (Merritt's twin brother, also played by Woody Harrelson) to help him get the best of the Four Horsemen. This plot element, too, is similar to the first film.

Rhodes and the Four Horsemen have to escape the clutches of the devious Walter Mabry and bring him to justice. This requires some trickery, misdirection and a many more magic tricks. There are more reveals later in the film, concerning Mabry's motives and The Eye.

While the plot of this film is cleverly interwoven with the plot of the first film, it is even less believable than the first film, and that is saying a lot. Still, it is fun, even if it is a bit disappointing for those of us who found the first film more enjoyable than this one (there are some who like the sequel better). This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2016 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)