Since we were on the subject of Dave Franco last entry, I figured I’d go back and revisit my experience with this movie this entry.
As much as I wanted to like this sequel, I think my biggest critique for this movie is that the story seems to undo everything I liked about the first installment from 2013, and in a way that didn’t much make sense to me. I also really missed Isla Fisher in this one, because it just wasn’t the same without her, but I had no problems with Lizzy Caplan’s introduction as her replacement. If I recall correctly, there was a bit of a Tony Stark and Pepper Potts-ish joke in there somewhere to explain away Fisher’s absence, but it’s been a while, so that may not be entirely accurate.
I think the second most disappointing thing was the fact that the best parts of the movie, including what I thought was the best magic trick, was already shown in all the trailers (though I did appreciate that there were a few more minutes to the rain trick that wasn’t teased previously). I also wish that there was just more magic that wowed than what was shown. Perhaps though, I was spoiled by the first movie, where I felt like the tricks were not only more fresh, but also contributed a lot more to the overall plot (not to mention they integrated a lot more smoothly). I was also severely disappointed with the way certain characters return, and how I was expecting a lot more from Daniel Radcliffe’s villain, but after learning how the story had all of the pieces of the puzzle put together, I’m not sure how else his character could have developed.
Overall, I think this movie suffered mostly from a case of poor writing, and although they did a similar teasing at the end of how there could potentially be another sequel someday, I’m not sure I’d be all that interested in seeing it in theaters (as opposed to a rainy day rental) unless they can promise a more interesting storyline. If a third movie does happen, I would like to see the Four Horsemen written more strongly, a lot more magic, and a story that really intrigues.
Final Thoughts: I felt that the first film, while some might consider it incredibly cheesy, was a lot better than this follow up. I’m not even sure if I would recommend this as a rental, because I found the ending and “grand reveal” this time around to be absolutely dissatisfying, not to mention the entire story seemed pretty jerky in its execution and flow. The best part about this movie for me was the magic, and even then I didn’t feel like there was enough of it. If you’re able to find a compilation of all the magic scenes on YouTube, I’d say that that’s at least worth seeing, but as for the movie itself, I don’t think you’d be missing all that much by skipping it.