Now You See Me 2 (also known as Now You See Me: The Second Act) is a 2016 Anglo - American heist film directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Ed Solomon and a story by Solomon and Peter Chiarelli. It serves as a sequel to 2013's Now You See Me and the second installment in the Now You See Me series. The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman. The plot has the Four Horsemen and their leader Dylan Rhodes recruited by Walter Mabry, a criminal mastermind, to steal a data chip.

Now You See Me 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJon M. Chu
Screenplay byEd Solomon
Story by
  • Ed Solomon
  • Peter Chiarelli
Based onCharacters
by Boaz Yakin
Edward Ricourt
Produced by
CinematographyPeter Deming
Edited byStan Salfas
Music byBrian Tyler
Distributed byLionsgate
Release dates
  • June 6, 2016 (2016-06-06) (New York City)
  • June 10, 2016 (2016-06-10) (United States)
Running time
129 minutes[1]
CountriesUnited States
United Kingdom[2]
Budget$90–120 million[3][4]
Box office$334.9 million[5]

On July 3, 2013, the film was officially announced to be in development. Filming began in November 2014 and lasted until May 2015. The film was released on June 10, 2016, by Lionsgate.[6] It received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $334 million worldwide. A sequel is in development.

Plot edit

Eighteen months after escaping the FBI, the fugitive Four Horsemen – J. Daniel Atlas, Merritt McKinney, Jack Wilder, and new member Lula May – await orders from the Eye, the secret society of magicians. Their handler, FBI Special Agent Dylan Rhodes, delivers instructions: to expose corrupt tech CEO Owen Case, whose latest cell phone will secretly collect users' personal data to sell on the black market.

In New York City, the Horsemen hijack the phone's launch but are interrupted by a mysterious figure who reveals to the public that Jack faked his death and that Dylan is working with the Horsemen. Dylan eludes the FBI as the Horsemen escape down a construction chute only to suddenly find themselves in Macau. They are captured by Chase, Merritt's twin brother, and brought to Walter Mabry, Owen's former business partner.

Having exposed the Horsemen in New York, Walter reveals how they were lulled unconscious and flown to Macau. Owen took his company from him, as well as a chip designed by Walter to access any computer system in the world. Despite the protests of the other Horsemen, Daniel agrees to steal the chip for Walter before Owen can sell it. They acquire supplies from a magic store owned by Li and Bu Bu and arrange to deliver the chip to the Eye, knowing they cannot trust Walter. Posing as potential buyers, they infiltrate the Macau Science Center, using cardistry and sleight of hand to sneak the chip past its supervisor, Allen Scott-Frank.

Dylan is contacted by Thaddeus Bradley, the magic debunker he framed for the Horsemen's crimes. He offers to help find the Horsemen, so he extricates him from prison. They go to Macau, and Dylan finds Daniel waiting to give the chip to the Eye. Walter arrives, having fooled Daniel into believing he was in contact with the Eye, and Dylan fights Walter's men as Daniel escapes with the chip. Captured, Dylan discovers Walter is the son of Arthur Tressler, whose fortune Dylan and the Horsemen stole. Walter and Arthur lock Dylan in a safe and drop him underwater, mirroring the death of Dylan's father.

Arthur pays Thaddeus for bringing him Dylan, and Thaddeus promises to deliver the Horsemen as well. Dylan escapes from the safe and is rescued by the Horsemen. Realizing the chip they have is a fake, they resolve to stop Walter from acquiring the real chip, and are joined by Li and Bu Bu.

The Horsemen announce a new performance in London, with an implicit threat to expose Walter, who flies to London with Arthur and Chase in a private jet. On New Year's Eve, the Horsemen perform across the city, but they and Dylan are captured by Walter's men and brought to the jet. Once in the air, they are forced to hand over the fake chip, which Walter confirms is real, and his henchmen throw Dylan and the Horsemen out of the plane, supposedly to their deaths. However, Walter, Arthur, and Chase realize too late that they have never taken off; their jet is actually on a set floating on the Thames.

The Horsemen and Dylan explain how they misled the three into thinking they had won and how Jack had hypnotized Chase into throwing them out of the plane as planned. Walter, Arthur, and Chase's misdeeds are broadcast to the crowd and around the world, and they are taken into FBI custody as Dylan and the Horsemen escape before they can be apprehended. They arrive at the Greenwich Observatory, where they meet other members of the Eye, including Li, Bu Bu, and Allen. Their leader is revealed to be Thaddeus, who explains to Dylan that he was his father's partner in magic and only pretended to be his rival. The two men bury the hatchet, Thaddeus chooses Dylan as his successor, and the Horsemen are shown a secret entrance to see more of the Eye.

Cast edit

  • Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas, a member of the Four Horsemen.
  • Mark Ruffalo as Dylan Rhodes, a former FBI agent, the new leader of the Four Horsemen and the son of the late illusionist Lionel Shrike.
  • Woody Harrelson as Merritt McKinney, a member of the Four Horsemen, and Chase McKinney, an associate of Mabry.[7] They are twin brothers who specialize in hypnosis.
  • Dave Franco as Jack Wilder, a magician specializing in card tricks. He is a member of the Four Horsemen.
  • Daniel Radcliffe as Walter Mabry, Arthur Tressler's illegitimate son, a young technology tycoon.
  • Lizzy Caplan as Lula May, a new member of the Four Horsemen, replacing Henley.[8]
  • Morgan Freeman as Thaddeus Bradley, a magic debunker, exposing the tricks of other magicians; the grandmaster of the Eye and a friend of Lionel Shrike.[9]
  • Jay Chou as Li, a Macanese magic shop owner and member of the Eye.
  • Sanaa Lathan as Deputy Director Natalie Austin, an FBI deputy director who tracks down Rhodes for helping the Horsemen.
  • Michael Caine as Arthur Tressler, the Four Horsemen's former sponsor, who wants revenge for losing his money and power.
  • Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Allen Scott-Frank, head of the Macau Science Center and member of the Eye.
  • Ben Lamb as Owen Case, Walter's former business partner.
  • David Warshofsky as Agent Cowan, an FBI agent and a skeptic of Rhodes'.
  • Tsai Chin as Bu Bu, Li's grandmother, who owns a magic shop in Macau and is also a member of the Eye.
  • Richard Laing as Lionel Shrike, a magician who drowned while performing an escape trick thirty years ago, Dylan's late father. The character was previously played by an uncredited Elias Koteas in the first film.

Production edit

On July 3, 2013, after the box office success of the first film, Lions Gate Entertainment CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that there would be a sequel to the film, with production beginning in 2014 for an unspecified release date.[6] In September 2014, it was confirmed that Jon M. Chu would replace Louis Leterrier (who eventually serves as executive producer) as the sequel's director.[10] The film was produced by Summit Entertainment and K/O Paper Products.[11]

The sequel was thought to be titled Now You See Me: Now You Don't,[12] with the director pushing for that name,[13] but the studio call announced in November 2014 was that the film had changed its title to Now You See Me: The Second Act.[14][15]

Casting edit

On October 2, 2014, Michael Caine confirmed in an interview that Daniel Radcliffe would be playing his son in the film and that shooting is expected to begin in December in London.[16] In October 2014, it was announced that Isla Fisher would be unable to reprise her role as Henley Reeves due to her pregnancy and Lizzy Caplan was cast as new character Lula to replace her as the Fourth Horseman.[17][12] On January 28, 2015, Henry Lloyd-Hughes was confirmed to play the role of a tech whiz kid named Allen Scott-Frank.[18] On December 22, 2014, it was reported that Morgan Freeman was not going to reprise his role as Thaddeus Bradley,[19] but on January 19, 2015, film director Chu posted a selfie with Freeman on his Instagram, verifying that he would return.[9]

Filming edit

On November 25, 2014, Mark Ruffalo posted to his Facebook that filming had begun on the sequel,[20] as the film was shooting in London, England.[17] On March 12, 2015, shooting began in China, where filming took place in Macau and the Macau Science Center, lasting for six days to March 18.[21]

Theme song edit

The Taiwanese singer Jay Chou, who made a guest appearance, produced the international theme song "Now you see me" in Chinese for the film (the film is in Chinese, and the album version has English lyrics). The director even added Jay Chou's songs "Eunuch with a Headache" (the song Lee listened to at the counter when he debuted) and "Extra Large Shoes" as episodes. In addition, Taiwanese rap group "urchin MJ116" and rapper MC HotDog's song "Fresh Gang" also played in the film's Macau segment.[22]

Soundtrack edit

Now You See Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJune 10, 2016
GenreFilm score
LabelVarèse Sarabande
ProducerBrian Tyler
Brian Tyler film scores chronology
Now You See Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Power Rangers

The film's music was written and composed by Brian Tyler. The soundtrack was released on June 10, 2016, by Varèse Sarabande.

All music is composed by Brian Tyler

1."Now You See Me 2 Fanfare"3:20
2."Now You See Me 2 Main Titles"3:00
3."300 Seconds"7:25
4."The Setup"5:45
5."Sleight of Hand"5:52
7."A Special Invitation"4:38
9."Off The Grid (Walter's Theme)"2:13
11."The Fool"1:55
12."Buffy the Chippie"2:58
13."Behind the Curtain"4:10
14."Thaddeus' Game"2:23
18."Diversion Tactics"4:34
19."Sibling Rivalry"1:55
20."Bazaar Getaway"2:09
21."The New Horseman"1:05
22."See You in 3 to 5"1:41
23."The Big Finish"3:56
Total length:77:37

Release edit

In November 2014, the film was officially titled Now You See Me 2, and was set to be released on June 10, 2016.[20][10] In March 2016, the film's international release date was announced as July 4, 2016.

Now You See Me 2 was released on Digital HD on August 19, and on Blu-ray and DVD on September 6.[23]

Reception edit

Box office edit

Now You See Me 2 grossed $65.1 million in the United States and Canada and $269.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $334.9 million, against a budget of $120 million.[5]

In the United States and Canada, Now You See Me 2 opened on June 10, 2016, alongside Warcraft and The Conjuring 2, and was projected to gross $23–26 million from 3,232 theaters in its opening weekend.[24][25] The film grossed $1.8 million from its Thursday night previews, beating the $1.5 million made by its predecessor, and $8.4 million on its first day.[26][4] It went on to gross $22.3 million in its opening weekend, finishing third at the box office behind The Conjuring 2 ($40.4 million) and Warcraft ($24.1 million).[27]

In China, the film was released on June 24, 2016, and had an opening day of $14.8 million, a record for Lionsgate and up 67.9% from the original's first day. In its opening weekend the film grossed $44.4 million, also a record for Lionsgate.[28] China was the largest territory for the film, with a total gross of $97.1 million.[29]

Critical response edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 34% based on 200 reviews, with an average rating of 4.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Now You See Me 2 packs in even more twists and turns than its predecessor, but in the end, it has even less hiding up its sleeve."[30] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 46 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[31] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by its predecessor.[4]

Although critics and fans were disappointed that Isla Fisher was not returning as Henley Reeves, many praised Lizzy Caplan's addition to the cast. Caplan was described as "one of the sequel's biggest improvements" by Entertainment Weekly,[32] while Dave White of TheWrap wrote that she "provides a fresh infusion of smart-ass energy into the boy's club."[33] Australian film magazine Filmink also noted that Caplan "over-shadows her skilled co-stars with her sassy and commanding screen presence."[34] Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote that "all bearded creepy grins, [Daniel Radcliffe] makes Walter a megalomaniac imp, like the world's youngest Bond villain."[35] Randy Cordova of The Arizona Republic, who preferred the film to the original, said of the villain character that "In [Radcliffe's] hands, he is a spoiled and petulant baddie, alternately creepy and hilarious."[36]

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club wrote that the sequel "up[s] the ludicrous quotient" from the original, "double-timing the convoluted plotting and embracing implausibility as an aesthetic ... If [director Jon M.] Chu doesn't seem comfortable with the swooping, lens-flare-speckled flashiness that director Louis Leterrier brought to the first film, he seems even less interested than his predecessor in creating the impression of a recognizably real world — which is a good thing, at least for a movie about a superstar heist crew called the Horsemen that involves twins, multiple secret identities, and a global corporate surveillance plot that can only be foiled through the use of stage magic."[37]

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film a mixed review but considered it "more fun" than its predecessor.[38]

Accolades edit

At the Teen Choice Awards held July 31, 2016 the movie was nominated as Choice Summer Movie, Dave Franco was nominated as Choice Summer Movie Star: Male and Lizzy Caplan was nominated as Choice Summer Movie Star: Female. [39]

Future edit

Sequel edit

In May 2015, Lions Gate Entertainment CEO Jon Feltheimer announced that they had "already begun early planning" for a sequel called Now You See Me 3.[40] It was later confirmed that Lizzy Caplan would reprise the role of Lula May, and Benedict Cumberbatch would join as a new cast member.[41][42][43] Lionsgate revealed in April 2020 that Eric Warren Singer would be the screenwriter for the film.[44] In September 2022, it was announced that Ruben Fleischer would direct the film while Seth Grahame-Smith replaced Singer as the screenwriter.[45][46] By March 2024, Eisenberg had read the screenplay for a third film and was hopeful that principal photography would begin "in the next six months".[47] On April 16th, it was announced that Ariana Greenblatt, Dominic Sessa, and Justice Smith had been cast in the film, alongside the returning Eisenberg, Harrelson, Fisher, Franco, and Ruffalo.[48][49]

Spin-off film edit

In July 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Lionsgate plans on making a Now You See Me spin-off with a primarily Chinese cast, starring Jay Chou as Li, his character from Now You See Me 2.[50]

References edit

  1. ^ "NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. June 6, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  2. ^ "Now You See Me 2 (2016)". BFI. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  3. ^ FilmL.A. (June 2017). "2016 Feature Film Study" (PDF). Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "'Conjuring 2' Screams Up $37M+, 'Warcraft' Spoils At $26M+, 'Now You See Me 2' At $22M+". Deadline Hollywood. June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Now You See Me 2 (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Brew, Simon (August 13, 2013). "'Now You See Me' to get sequel". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  7. ^ Zwecker, Bill (June 6, 2016). "Harrelson creates very different twins in 'Now You See Me 2'". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 20, 2014). "Sanaa Lathan To Arrest Tricksters In 'Now You See Me 2'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Gill, James (January 20, 2015). "First look at Daniel Radcliffe in magic heist Now You See Me 2". Radio Times. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Lionsgate Sets Dates for Now You See Me 2 and Dirty Grandpa". September 9, 2014. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "Film Briefs: Weinsteins Will Distribute Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Worldwide; Lionsgate, eOne Expand Joint Agreement". Deadline Hollywood. September 3, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Lily Aria (November 13, 2014). "'Now You See Me 2' Release Date, Updates And News: Officially Titled 'Now You See Me: Now You Don't;' Plot Revealed, Confirmed New Cast Includes Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan And Jay Chou". Franchise Herald. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  13. ^ "Now You See Me 2 trailer: Jon M. Chu answers questions". Entertainment Weekly.
  14. ^ Adam Chitwood (November 25, 2014). "NOW YOU SEE ME 2 Title Revealed". Collider. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  15. ^ H. Shaw-Williams (November 25, 2014). "'Now You See Me 2′ Official Title Revealed". Screen Rant. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  16. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe to Play Michael Caine's Son in NOW YOU SEE ME 2". October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Peter Sciretta (November 4, 2014). "Now You See Me 2 Cast And Plot Revealed". Slash Film. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  18. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (January 28, 2015). "Henry Lloyd-Hughes Conjures Role In 'Now You See Me: The Second Act'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  19. ^ Aria, Lily (December 22, 2014). "Official Title For 'Now You See Me' Sequel Revealed: 'Now You See Me 2: The Second Act' Release Date Set For 2016; Cast Details And Plot Unleashead". Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Mark Ruffalo. "And so it begins... Now You See Me...again". Mark Ruffalo's Verified Facebook. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe Filming a new Project". March 11, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  22. ^ 周杰倫 Jay Chou 【Now You See Me】Official MV (120s)
  23. ^ Alexander, Jim (August 15, 2016). "Now You See Me 2 Home Release Date Announcement". The Movie Blog. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  24. ^ "Box Office: 'Conjuring 2' to Ward Off 'Warcraft,' 'Now You See Me 2'". June 7, 2016.
  25. ^ Dave McNarry (May 27, 2016). "'Warcraft' Opens in First in 11 International Markets With $9.3 Million". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  26. ^ "'Warcraft' Invades The U.S. On Thursday Night". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  27. ^ Scott Mendelson (June 12, 2016). "Weekend Box Office: 'Now You See Me 2' Steals $23 Million Debut". Forbes. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  28. ^ Nancy Tartaglione (June 25, 2016). "'Now You See Me 2' Conjuring Record China Weekend Bow For Lionsgate – Intl Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  29. ^ "Now You See Me 2". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  30. ^ "Now You See Me 2 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  31. ^ "Now You See Me 2 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  32. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (June 7, 2016). "Now You See Me2: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  33. ^ White, Dave (June 1, 2016). "'Now You See Me 2' Review". TheWrap. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  34. ^ Watson, Sophia (June 17, 2016). "Review: Now You See Me 2". Filmink. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  35. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (June 1, 2016). "Film Review: 'Now You See Me 2'". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  36. ^ Cordova, Randy. "'Now You See Me 2' surpasses original." The Arizona Republic (newspaper). June 10, 2016.
  37. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (June 9, 2016). "Now You See Me 2 doubles down on giddy ludicrousness". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  38. ^ Chicago Tribune review of Now You See Me 2
  39. ^ Goodman, Jessica (July 31, 2016). "Teen Choice Awards 2016: See the full list of winners". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  40. ^ McNary, Dave (May 22, 2015). "'Now You See Me 3' in the Works at Lionsgate". Variety. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  41. ^ Lawrence, Sophie (December 2, 2016). "'Now You See Me 3' Release Date Confirmed As Production Rolls In Plus A New Cast Member To Join The Gang". Parent Herald. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  42. ^ Espiritu, Emmanuelle (March 7, 2017). "'Now You See Me 3' Release Date, Cast News: Isla Fisher Officially Out, Benedict Cumbercatch In?". The Christian Post. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  43. ^ Jabin, Bhatz (March 31, 2017). "'Now You See Me 3' Update: Benedict Cumberbatch Reportedly Joins Cast". Travelers Today. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  44. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 28, 2020). "'Now You See Me 3' in the Works With 'American Hustle' Writer". Variety. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  45. ^ Grobar, Matt; D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 29, 2022). "Ruben Fleischer To Direct Next 'Now You See Me' Pic For Lionsgate".
  46. ^ Reynolds, Maca (October 29, 2023). "Now You See Me 3 Moving Forward at Lionsgate". MovieWeb. Retrieved October 29, 2023.
  47. ^ McPherson, Chris (March 10, 2024). "Jesse Eisenberg Expects to Shoot 'Now You See Me 3' Sooner Than You Think [Exclusive]". Collider. Archived from the original on March 12, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  48. ^ "Ariana Greenblatt Joins 'Now You See Me 3' For Lionsgate". Deadline.
  49. ^ "Justice Smith, Dominic Sessa Join Ariana Greenblatt in 'Now You See Me 3' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  50. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (July 15, 2016). "Lionsgate to Make Chinese Spinoff of 'Now You See Me' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 11, 2017.

External links edit