Gary Cogill

‘Now You See Me 2' No Better, No Worse Than Original

The original "Now You See Me" made more than $351 million worldwide, so a sequel was inevitable. Is "Now You See Me 2" better? No, but it's not any worse.

"Now You See Me 2" is louder and more self-important than the original, but that doesn't make it any better. The Four Horsemen of magic are back with a new female member, played by Lizzy Caplan, and a new nemesis, a mean-spirited, arrogant, tech-magnet played by Daniel Ratcliffe.

Wouldn't you know it, it takes all of their collective David Copperfield strength to travel the world and out-illusion the corporate bad guy, and, in the process, learn a little bit about themselves.

None of this star-populated movie makes any sense, but it doesn't matter because when the magic does finally happen, it's harmless, breezy fun.

"Now You See Me 2" is directed with a slick, hyper paintbrush by Jon Chu. He directed a Justin Bieber movie and "G. I. Joe," and that should tell you something.

His latest feels like, "Energy Drink Cinema," where characters over-react because they have had way too much Red Bull.

"Now You See Me 2" is rated PG-13 and in the grand scheme of movies is instantly disposable. But that doesn't matter because it was never intended to be anything other than slick, mindless entertainment.

On that level it works. On a magic level, it could use a few more tricks.

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