Now You See Me 2

*SPOILER ALERT*

… because I believe in eye for an eye.
teeth for teeth. times one-hundred.

It’s June 10, which means Now You See Me 2 release date! Long story short, I was planning to go to a craft store to get a frame for my photo, but then I was reminded that today Now You See Me 2 is in theatre! Hence, I asked my girlfriend, who was accompanying me, whether she wanted to go see a movie after; she said yes.

Also another good news—well probably just for us, we’re one movie away to get 2 free movie tickets. But, it’s a good thing to share a good news. 😀

As you, we, all know that this movie is a sequel to its first movie Now You See Me. It’s about a group of people with magic trick skills, who are trying to use their skill to become the ‘Robin Hood’ of modern society. In the first movie, they stole money from Arthur Tressler and, in this sequel, expose the identity of Arthur Tressler, his son, and Merrit McKinney’s brother, who are trying to obtain an item that allow them to crack and hack into all servers, devices, or databases in the world—something that the Horseman thinks violating people’s privacy. That’s the big picture of the storyline. Nevertheless, there are more of the side stories along the way that add up perfectly together at the end. These twists become the explanation and revelation of many things in the first movie that we didn’t yet understand. One way that we can see the series is by seeing the first and second movie as a whole.

Agent Rhode—Agent Shriek—is the fifth member of the Horseman. He has been helping the Horseman all along—the ‘inside’ person in the FBI. It’s also unveiled that the reason why he’s with the Horseman is because he witnessed his father—Shriek, whom was also a magician, died when he was pulling off a trick challenged by Thaddeus. As a result, he wanted to revenge Thaddeus for his father’s death, because he thinks that Thaddeus caused his father’s death for challenging him to pull on a trick he knew he couldn’t do. As we also know that Dylan [Rhode] threw Thaddeus in prison in the previous movie—these are things that we can understand why it happened in the first movie in the beginning of second movie.

Before we go on, I would like to highlight one thing in this movie:
The first scene in the movie that excited me was when they were kidnapped, woke up in Macau, and was taken to see Walter Tressler—Arthur Tressler’s son— in his sophisticated place, whom was played by Daniel Radcliffe! It’s such a weird thing to see him not as a character of which he is known for—Harry Potter. He has been in other movies between Harry Potter and this one, but I haven’t seen any of his movies. In other words, this is the first time I see him in the big screen as someone other than Harry. As a big fan of Harry Potter, again, it’s both weird and fun to see. However, actually, I didn’t really need to try too hard divorcing him from his Harry Potter character, for he did an absolutely awesome job there; his acting in the movie, to me, was brilliant that I could see him as his new character without getting myself confused between Daniel Radcliffe the Harry Potter and Daniel Radcliffe the Walter Tressler. Although his accent is still cool as ever.

The biggest reveal of this sequel is the identity of ‘The Eye’—Thaddeus Bradley. Yes! He is ‘The Eye’. If we look back from the very beginning, of Now You See Me, we can see Thaddeus character has been the one who seem to be, somehow, on both sides. He appeared to be an opportunistic guy, who jumped vessel easily. We didn’t know for sure what his motive is. And it’s now revealed that he has actually been the one orchestrating all the action from the beginning. He is the writer, director and actor of the entire story.

That being said, the biggest idea that struck me about this movie is: what the hell. We have been, in some way, ‘fooled’ since the beginning. It makes me feel like as if we are ‘the fool’ in the middle of the drama that shrouds the entire plot. It’s a revelation that’s pretty exciting and annoying to know—the way everything played out in the end; it brings us back to the beginning again. It seems as if the two movies take you no further forward, but backwards. The only reason why the whole action had to take place is because Thaddeus is ashamed to spill the beans to Dylan in the first place, as he laid it bare at the end of the movie. When I said everything, I really mean literally everything. Even those times when we thought that the Horseman have been sabotaged by the bad guy, it’s actually under Thaddeus’ control already. It doesn’t exclude the time when the Horseman broke into the facility that kept the chip that they try to steal from for Walter; the supervisor of the place is actually Thaddeus’ man. Hence, it’s safe for us to conclude that he may have orchestrated everything else to the smallest bits. Thaddeus turns out to be Lionel Shriek’s—Dylan’s father—friend since the start; they only played act as two opposing characters before. If only he had a little courage, the story would’ve been much simpler: the Horseman steals money from Arthur’s company [first movie] and reveals Arthur, Walter and Merrit’s brother’s identity to public. But, it also shows his genius for being able to conduct such massive real-life play in such, seemingly, seamless way. It’s good that he remains on the good side after all these time, though. As I mentioned in the beginning, the main story is simple, but the side twists have been making us run in circles from the first second of the first movie.

I liked the first movie and I also like the sequel. There are some reasons why I like Now You See Me 2, all based on my personal preferences regardless the tricky little twists behind the storyline:

First, I like magic tricks and their action. In Now You See Me 2, I like the part when they are throwing this card, with the chip they are stealing attached to it, around just to try to get it out; when Merrit throws the card pass the security just in time as the guard hands Daniel’s wallet over was gratifying to watch. From a perspective of someone who likes photography and videography, it does indeed put a smirk on my face. In addition to that, I also like how Daniel Atlas stops the water droplets mid-air, as it reminded me of what happens when you combine sound wave and water—you can actually make it levitate. I know that these actions are exaggerated, but it’s something that we’re supposed to enjoy, right? That’s what entertainment is, and that’s how movies entertain us after all.

Second, I like how the bad guys are given false glory and the good guy, or simply the main characters, take the win in the end. It just feels good. It makes the storyline pretty simple—beginning, conflict, climax (the main characters are down)—then they claim their triumph towards the end. Haha..

Overall, I appreciate the idea of them fighting against privacy and security breach of many people in this digital era, because it seems to be something that we are prone to these days. It raises awareness in this particular matter. Effect-wise, I like the visual effect. I’m not sure if they actually perform the magic tricks during the filming, which would make it much cooler to see, but it’s quite pleasing to watch.

If you realize that I wrote ‘…because I believe in eye for an eye‘, it’s because we see change in its meaning between when Thaddeus says it at the start of the movie and at the end of it. We thought that he said that as a warning for Dylan, but we learn, as the movie rolled, that it may mean something else that’s larger than that. The assumptions are: he also wants to avenge Arthur Tressler for refusing to pay the insurance in the light of Lionel Shriek’s death or he wants to help the Horseman for they have been helping Dylan to get rid of his blind anger caused by his father’s death, or simply because the Horseman has been doing good stuffs by taking the money from greedy Arthur and give it back to the people.

I would rate this 3.5/5.

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