Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson
Release Date: September 6, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10 Disc Rating: 8/10
The Four Horsemen (Eisenberg, Harrelson, Franco, Caplan) return for a second mind-bending adventure, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights and taking them around the globe. One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, the illusionists resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry(Radcliffe), a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Lionsgate Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The sequel to 2013’s surprisingly fantastic and mind bending magical thriller, ‘Now You See Me 2’ rejoins The Four Horseman who following their big reveal have remained in seclusion awaiting the right time in which to make their monumental return. Following the unexpected departure of their previous female horseman (or horsewoman?) they must enlist a replacement before their unveiling. Unfortunately, once the Horsemen take the stage, their big return is interrupted by a mysterious figure that seems to have a personal grudge against the team and before the horseman can intervene the figure reveals a few secrets of his own, including the true identity of the mysterious fifth horseman who is subsequently forced to go on the run, reluctantly accompanied by his arch nemesis who may be the only man who can help him find the others. Meanwhile the key four members are abducted and transported to a foreign land where they are enlisted by an eccentric and wealthy entrepreneur who has borrowed a few of their tricks for himself, intent on carving his own name within the world of magic. Now the team must race against time and motives that still remain somewhat foggy while trying to maintain the upper hand against a worthy adversary if they stand any chance of getting out of this mess without being captured by the law enforcement officials on their tail, or worse.
Directed by Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) this time around from a screenplay penned by co-writer of the original film Ed Solomon (Men in Black). Chu does a solid job at the helm of ‘Now You See Me 2’ guiding this capable sequel and capturing the essence of its predecessor wonderfully. The film also owes a large share of credit to the collection of talented individuals both returning and new to the franchise who comprise the cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Sanaa Lathan and more, nearly all of whom deliver highly capable performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Now You See Me 2’ delivers a solid sequel to its surprisingly wonderful predecessor. Even while the second installment doesn’t quite manage to reach the potential of the first or quite accomplish its mind blowing revelations, it nonetheless delivers a competent follow-up that captures the essence beautifully and manages to keep a few tricks up its sleeve, albeit nothing as monumental as the finale of the first film, while naturally upping the ante on the stunning visuals. Guided with style by director Jon M. Chu and complimented by a stellar cast including the return of nearly all of the previous key players with the exception of Isla Fischer who is replaced (in a manner of speaking) by Lizzy Caplan this time around who makes a solid addition, even if the true standout in the additional cast for the sequel is undoubtedly Daniel Radcliffe whose goofy performance is simply fantastic. Constantly brimming with visual spectacle and a new mystery likely to keep most viewers on their toes once again until the final card drops, ‘Now You See 2’ is a smart, gorgeous and thoroughly entertaining sequel that while not quite on the level of the original is still a truly enjoyable treat that anyone who enjoyed the first film will definitely want to check out.
Overall, ‘Now You See Me 2’ doesn’t quite manage to capture the magic (pun intended) of its predecessor, although it doesn’t fall too short either and delivers a tremendously enjoyable ride with one visual spectacle after another and its share of reveals. Capably guided by director Jon M. Chu and featuring an impressive collection of talented stars both new and returning to the series, I would highly recommend fans of the original make certain to check out ‘Now You See Me 2’ when you have the opportunity to do so, it’s certainly more than worth the cost of a rental for those who may be hesitant to drop the cash on a blind purchase. I would also urge anyone who might not have had the pleasure of either entry to give the films a whirl, chances are you won’t be disappointed; just be certain to start with the original as jumping immediately into the second installment will ruin a good chunk of the fun.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Now You See Me 2’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole, delivering a gorgeous sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within. It holds up impressively even during the numerous fast moving and/or darkly lit sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to ever become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a crisp, clean and wildly aggressive audio presentation throughout, utilizing all seven available channels in order to send a plethora of action, magic related and other auditory effects whipping throughout the various channels, along with crowd chatter and plenty more, while always making certain that any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously never becomes distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes another layer of fun to the overall viewing experience and should easily thrill even the pickiest audiophiles.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Now You See Me 2’ includes some worthwhile bonus content. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Jon M. Chu’, in addition to a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘The Art of the Ensemble’ (running approximately 21 minutes in length), ‘You Can’t Look Away’ (running approximately 17 minutes), and ‘Bringing Magic to Life’ (approximately 16 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Now You See Me 2’ Arrives On 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD September 6, 2016 & Now Available on Digital HD from Summit Entertainment & Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Purchase your copy today by clicking on the Amazon cart Icon immediately below!