As a magician, scam expert and crime writer, I have strong feelings about Louis Letterier’s 2013 magician heist Now You See Me. Check out my conversations with Nick Mason from The Weekly Planet and the film’s magic consultant, David Kwong, to hear me pick the films apart with a level of harsh criticism I usually reserve for my two year old daughter.
Trailers for the sequel are out and it looks like the team has embraced the first films nonsensical pseudo conjuring to give us more of the same. Here’s a few things you might have missed:
1. Dance, Magic Dance
Jon M Chu, who made sequels to GI Joe and Step Up is directing this time. Almost everything he’s directed has included dance so expect some soft-shoe shuffling. There’s a strong link between dance and magic so while he’s previous films aren’t exactly works of art, you can see the logic in bringing him on board.
2. Cards As Weapons
The sequel includes tons of card throwing, made famous among magicians by Ricky Jay in his book, Cards As Weapons. It’s a collector’s item today and a 1st edition will set you back $800.
3. More CGI
90% of the magic in the trailer is actually CGI. Hardcore magic fans looking for real illusion will probably be disappointed. But they were probably disappointed by the first film so they have no one to blame but themselves.
4. Puddles Prestidigitation
The final illusion, where Jesse Eisenberg falls to the ground and vanishes in a puddle of water, is a riff on a trick from Dynamo’s second television series for the BBC. Both rely on camera trickery more than real skill.
5. No Isla Fisher
Isla Fisher is pregnant and won’t be back. She’ll be replaced by Lizzy Caplan.
6. Harry Potter Returns To Magic
David Radcliffe plays a potential villain/hero who will probably turn out to be a hero/villian.
7. Jay Chou
Chinese pop star Jay Chou plays a role. Chou has performed magic since he was a boy.
8. The Wrong Title
The film is not call Now You Don’t. This is a great crime.
I wasn’t a massive fan of the first film but, if you got a kick out of the CGI enhanced trickery, over the top heists and suspect plotting of the first film, Now You See Me 2 looks set to deliver more of the same.
That said, Daniel Radcliffe’s introduction was absolutely charming.
Nicholas J. Johnson is a Melbourne magician, writer and expert on scams.