Connect with us

Movie News

Review: ‘Now You See Me 2’ Has More Magic, More Tricks & More Problems

Published

on

Now You See Me 2 MovieSpoon.com

Now You See Me 2 is a magic trick of a movie. You’ve probably seen this trick before with its predecessor, but never mind that. Keep your eyes on the fast-paced plot of globe-trotting magicians on a heist. Focus on the gorgeous visuals and the snappy dialogue of this all-star cast. Be amazed at their astounding feats of magic present in the movie.

Now You See Me 2 MovieSpoon.com

‘Now You See Me 2’ welcomes back the old cast plus some new additions.

If you follow all of these commands, you will exit the theater upon the “gotcha” ending and have a great time with this caper. Heed my words as you must follow these instructions to properly enjoy the picture. Failure to do so will ruin the illusion.

Three years after the events of the first movie, the elusive Horsemen – a group of magicians involved in Robin Hood heists – reassemble to make their grand return to the public. The FBI still wants them arrested and the public can’t wait to see their next spectacle. For their big return with the addition of a new female member, their target is a tech mogul that can sell the privacy of the public. All goes according to plan with some clever tricks along the way, but their secret actions are foiled by some unseen force of tech wizardry.

After a hasty retreat and their mission compromised, they are captured by the mysterious young business man Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe). Favoring science over magic (a stark contrast from his days as Harry Potter), the evil tycoon that operates under the radar commissions the Horsemen to swipe some tech for him. They’ll have to use all their expertise to break into the most highly guarded of Chinese tech firms. But once they do, there’s still the matter of if Walter will let them live after the job is complete.

Now You See Me 2 MovieSpoon.com

Daniel Radcliffe plays tycoon Walter Mabry in ‘Now You See Me 2.’

Throughout Now You See Me 2, there’s the reiteration of the Horsemen being a team and how they’re the chosen ones to serve the mysterious organization of The Eye. I never had that feeling of this group being a real team. Sure, they work together and are effective in their schemes, but I never once felt the chemistry between them. This is evident from the attempts at establishing friendly jabs between this group come off rather cold. Each character seems to get their own funny lines and can’t play off one another without being bitterly insulting.

JM4_6565.NEF

Lizzy Caplan is a new addition to ‘Now You See Me 2.’

On their own, however, the cast is mostly pretty solid. Jesse Eisenberg as Danny leads on with a calculative mind where the wheels can be seen constantly turning. Woody Harrelson does his best as the soft-spoken crass-talker Merritt as he always does, but is sadly too ridiculous as his character’s twin brother with goofy hair and costumes. Dave Franco has grown slightly as the chipper apprentice Jack who is slowly becoming the master with more pluck than I expected. Daniel Radcliffe is a bit of a gamble as a wealthy tech prodigy, but he pays off well enough. And you can’t go wrong with the talents of Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine – three actors who never turn in a dreary performance no matter the project.

The odd duck out here is Lizzy Caplan as Lulu, the newest addition to the Horsemen and the supposed comic relief of the group. She spends most of the movie running her mouth like a faucet in an effort to eat every scene and deliver as many laughs as possible. But, wow, does a little of her go a long way. As the only female member of the Horsemen, she is also given a big platform to establish herself as the strong woman who has mastered magic, is knowledgeable about science and doesn’t need any man to help her. And she will do so with a bullhorn and zero subtlety unless it isn’t 100% clear. I would say she’s annoying, but I don’t blame her given the script she’s working with. There is no mountain for her to climb, no knowledge to impart and no change to be had. She has to eat the scenery less she becomes it.

Read more to get the scoop on the plot:

PreviousNext
View Next


Box Office

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

Published

on

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release was that of a small horror film, The Possession of Hannah Grace. So small, in fact, that it only came in at #7 for the weekend with a gross of $6.5 million. As such, few films moved very far from their spots. Last weekend’s winner, the animated adventure Ralph Breaks The Internet, was once again on top, even though it wasn’t a very strong second weekend of $25 million, a 54% drop. Still, the film has made $119 million so far and is well on its way to covering its $175 million budget.

Surprisingly jumping up a spot is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the latest animated film Illumination Studios based on the classic Christmas book. The film jumped up from #3 to #2, making $17 million with the domestic gross now up to $203 million. Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spinoff, took a step down for its second weekend, grossing $16 million with a domestic total of $81 million. It’s no surprise that the biggest drop of the weekend was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to the Harry Potter spinoff. Due to low critic ratings and poor fan reactions, the film tumbled 61% with its domestic gross sitting at $134 million.

Ivo Nandi stars as Moscow Referee and Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago in CREED II,
a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

View the full top 10 box office winner for the weekend below.

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($25,756,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($17,730,000)
Creed II ($16,832,863)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($11,200,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($8,100,000)
Instant Family ($7,150,000)
The Possession of Hannah Grace ($6,500,000)
Robin Hood ($4,700,000)
Widows ($4,400,000)
Green Book ($3,900,000)

Next weekend is so sparse with new content that the biggest release is going to be an anniversary screening of Schindler’s List, hitting 1,000 screens. It’s a good time to take in some smaller releases as Mary Queen of Scots, Ben is Back, and Vox Lux will be having limited releases. So it’s safe to expect a repeat of this weekend’s trends in the box office.


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Published

on

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated family picture. Ralph Breaks The Internet, the Disney-animated sequel to 2012’s video game adventure comedy Wreck-It Ralph, came in at #1 for the weekend with $55 million and $84 million since its debut on Wednesday. This puts it above the Disney studio’s previous Thanksgiving hit Moana, which had a 5-day total of $82 million.

Not too far behind is Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spin-off starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. The boxing sequel took in $35 million for the weekend and $55 million since Wednesday. This is a stronger opening than the first film which came in at $29 million for the weekend.

And it was slim leftovers for the two other debuts. Robin Hood, the latest action remake of the classic tale, came in at #7 with only $9 million for the weekend, $14 million since Wednesday. Green Book, a drama about a black singer in the racist south of America, came in at #9 for its expanded week to make $5 million for the weekend and $7 million for its domestic total.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is not fairing to well for its second weekend. The Harry Potter spin-off has dropped to #4 with a domestic weekend gross of $30 million, a 52% drop. The film still hasn’t cleared its $200 million budget with a domestic gross of $117 million and it looks like it may never cross that mark as we head into December with more genre titles. Beating it out for #3 is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the theatrically animated adaptation by Illumination, that is proving to have great legs coming into the holiday season. Worth noting at #10 is A Star Is Born, its domestic total now having crossed $191 million to make it one of the most profitable films of the year.

View the full top 10 box office results for the weekend below:

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($55,672,000)
Creed II ($35,293,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($30,210,000)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($29,650,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($13,855,000)
Instant Family ($12,500,000)
Robin Hood ($9,125,000)
Widows ($7,955,000)
Green Book ($5,443,000)
A Star is Born ($3,005,000)

Next weekend is, well, it’s pretty dead. So dead that a ghost movie is occupying the rather blank spot. Possession of Hannah Grace, a modest horror production, will be arriving in under 2,000 theaters. So it’s fair to say you can expect Ralph to breakthrough for another weekend of success.


Continue Reading

Movie News

“Creed II” Gets Raw and Rickety with Rocky-isms

Published

on

Creed II, despite showing no shortage of boxing enthusiasm, falls prey to all the predictable theatrics and pitfalls of a sports sequel. It takes the character of Adonis Creed and prepares him to weather familiar territory in the Rocky franchise, pumping him up for the long haul of taking on new challenges. It’s very much a “more” sequel; more intensity in the fights, more drama stirred up outside the ring, and more theatrical music to turn the one-on-one boxing matches into towering and thunderous battles of gods. And while Creed certainly still has some of that charm in its eyes and adrenaline in its veins, there’s an unfortunate feeling one can’t shake that there’s not a lot of new tricks for this spin-off franchise.

Michael B. Jordan still has the right stuff as Adonis Creed. He’s a fierce competitor when he slips on the gloves and a fearful mess when it comes to taking the next step in his relationship with his best girl Bianca (Tessa Thompson). His mentor Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) is still in his corner to coach his many matches but there’s one fight he won’t be there for. Remember Ivan Drago from Rocky IV? He’s back, reprised by Dolph Lundgren, and has a new young Russian contender, his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu), ready to defeat Rocky’s boxing apprentice. You may recall that Drago was the one who killed Creed’s father, Apollo. Time for a revenge fight!

Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in
CREED II, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Barry Wetcher / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

The story makes its intentions clear from the first scene where Creed repeats the inspiring mantra of only fighting for himself and proving nothing to nobody else. Indeed, Jordan remains the centerpiece so prominently he pushes aside all other characters and arcs. Consider how Ivan has a lot riding on this fight, not only to seek revenge but also to gain the favor of his country and his ex-wife, who apparently left him for being a loser. It sounds a little too cartoonish of a villain plot and the film almost out of mercy never draws too much attention to this plight. Also absent from the second half is Buddy Marcelle (Russell Hornsby), another villain trying to push the boxing narrative of Creed vs. Drago and keep that match on the schedule. There’s a lingering theme amid these characters about when the fight isn’t worth it, yet all that questioning evaporates when the film quickly settles into being the guaranteed crowd pleaser of Adonis winning the fight.

Purely on the aspect of boxing, the film is neat to watch. It plays up the theatrics of the matches with an epic score and gets up close and personal with the punches. You feel every blow as the soundtrack boasts the brutal slugs to the face and ribs, almost as loud and grand as the epic music trying to drive the excitement up further. And while it is thrilling to get engaged in the main events of the picture, there’s that lesser drama that hinders a bigger film. Consider how Drago’s son seems defeated before the final blow is struck, more emotionally than physically. The triumphant punch across the face with a rousing reprisal of that old Rocky theme is all but assured at that point.

Florian Munteanu stars as Viktor Drago and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in CREED II,
a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Barry Wetcher / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Where the film kept winning me back wasn’t so much in the fights but in the quieter drama. There’s an ease to scenes where Rocky and Creed are merely talking about family and what’s most important in life. The two of them ooze with warmth where I found myself particularly charmed at a simple departure of Creed asking if Rocky is good and he gives a relaxed assurance before strolling off to let Adonis purpose to Bianca. And while the scenes between Jordan and Thompson are rather sweet, there’s no stopping the power of Phylicia Rashad as Creed’s mother, dominating scenes where she playfully asks about kids and powerfully puts the boy in his place when it comes to choosing his battles.

While I enjoyed Creed II and have no doubt that it’ll inspire cheers in the theater, I couldn’t help but notice all the tired tropes being unearthed, properly dusted off as they may be. There’s a training montage, a fall from grace, and plenty of televised boxing decadence. The first Creed film was exciting and inspiring because it felt new and refreshing. Creed II, however, gets too comfortable with that old Rocky formula, where the film becomes more centered on the match than the character. We certainly get a rousing fight but little more than that as Creed II comes up abundant on muscle and lower on the relatable human aspects. Here’s hoping Creed III won’t feature him fighting Mr. T’s protege.


Continue Reading

Find Us On Facebook

More

Box Office6 days ago

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release...

Box Office6 days ago

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated...

Movie News6 days ago

“Creed II” Gets Raw and Rickety with Rocky-isms

Creed II, despite showing no shortage of boxing enthusiasm, falls prey to all the predictable theatrics and pitfalls of a...

Box Office6 days ago

“Fantastic Beasts” Feasts on Box Office, “Widows” Wilts

The weekend belonged to wizards as The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter spin-off prequel saga...

Movie News3 weeks ago

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Conjures Magical Monotony

I had written that with the first Fantastic Beasts film I hoped I wouldn’t need giggle juice to be entertained...

Box Office4 weeks ago

“The Grinch” Steals Box Office, “Overlord” and “Spider” Left With Scraps

The holiday Christmas movie season starts early as it usually does in November. Just one week after The Nutcracker and...

Movie News4 weeks ago

Review: “Overlord” is a Gritty, Gory Genre Mash

Overlord is one of those delicious genre blenders that delivers World War II action and viciously gruesome body horror into...

Box Office1 month ago

Big “Bohemian Rhapsody” Opening While “Nutcracker” Trails

In weekend box office battle, it’s Queen who is king. Bohemian Rhapsody, the Freddy Mercury and Queen biopic, came in...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is Bitterly Bland With Beauty

Disney is in a very unique position as a dominant studio to experiment with more inspiring films for more diverse...

Box Office1 month ago

“Halloween” Tops Last Weekend of October, “Hunter Killer” Sinks

It’s not exactly a huge surprise that a film called Halloween would be the top earner on the last weekend...

Trending