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

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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.

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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