I remember watching Now You See Me and thinking, "Wow, this is a great movie, I wonder why I have not heard anything about this before. Why didn't I see this in theaters?". Now that I have remedied the situation by seeing it's second act on the big screen, I can report the same regret still lingers.
The movie itself is not bad, but does not live up to the opening act. As the show goes on you want to see bigger and better tricks but this movie doesn't give you that. A general consensus is that the sequel is never better than the original, but it didn't have to be that way.
Now You See Me used the idea of big showcase magic tricks, but in a movie and crafted a story around that idea. In this movie's case, it did the opposite and tried to continue the story and throwing in the magic as the garnish. Not only did the original treat the audience as a magician would theirs, but the magic got better and better as the movie went on. Magic is a universal intrigue because it defies expectations and allows for awe to set in. This second movie seemed to forget what magic was about and what worked for the first movie. It tried to hint at the magic going on while or before the tricks happened, making the audience suspend their belief and not fall for the magic tricks either.
The magic aside, this movie expanded on the world from the first and gave the characters more depth. There was nothing glaring from a story perspective that would hurt this movie and is still a good time. The occasional allusions in the movie would be better utilized if the advertisement campaign had not spoiled the only decent magic trick in the movie.
The movie just did not provide the promise of high brow magic tricks like the first one did. There was no escalating magic tricks, just a couple of small ones and a non trick to finish off the movie. It was more concerned about fleshing out the world and its characters in hopes that another sequel will be made. It even sets itself up for one.
All in all the movie was decent but lacked the spectacle the first had. It was mostly about explaining why people did things they did from the first movie and providing backstory for others.
7/10 Theboy with tape on his face has better tricks than this