A year after outwitting the FBI, everyone’s favourite team of a magicians is back.

Returning are Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine. New to the caper are Daniel Radcliffe, as a bad guy, and Lizzy Caplan providing the female touch Isla Fischer brought to the first movie.

The plot is convoluted, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? That’s the nature of a magic show–a bit of misdirection, your eyes don’t follow fast enough, and presto, this is your card, isn’t it?

There is a team of magicians. If you accept that basic premise, you’re well on your way to3 stars suspending your disbelief enough to enjoy this movie. They’re affiliated with some kind of secret international order and sought after by the FBI, though they appear to be the good guys. They engage in various missions. To explain what they’re doing any further misses the point. The motives aren’t always clear, but the tricks are cool.

This is an all-star cast, full of accomplished and likable actors, and it’s just enjoyable to follow the action. Despite the various plot twists, you pretty much know how the movie is going to end, but it’s a fun ride.

I could quibble with the big reveal at the end and ask why the team would try to keep their plans secret, then tease the time and place of their strike in an online video, and then then take great pains to hide what they’re doing as they’re doing it. Yet somehow, when the reveal happens, one of the characters somehow knows that their whole mission has been broadcast simultaneously all over the world. None of this makes any sense, of course, but you can’t rationally explain any magic trick, can you?

The movie is also at least half an hour too long, most of it seemingly designed to set up another sequel. And that sequel, like this one, will probably be another fun smoke and mirrors popcorn movie.

Title Now You See Me 2
Director John Chu
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson
Writer Ed Solomon, Peter Chiarelli
Production K/O Paper Products, Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, TIK Films
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