I liked the first film, and the second had Daniel Radcliffe in, so I was always going to enjoy it. The two films tell the story of the Four Horsemen who perform large-scale ‘magic’ tricks for audiences, with a kind of Robin Hood ‘steals from the rich to give to the poor’ mentality. The Horsemen are ‘controlled’ by Dylan Rhodes, an FBI agent working for the Horsemen, and an ‘all seeing’ eye.
At the start of the film, two of the original magicians (because one of them faked his own death in the last film) and a different female magician (what happened to Isla Fisher- did I miss that bit??) hijacked a technology launch keynote, only to find that they got kidnapped, hypnotised, and transported to Macau. Here, they were tasked by Daniel Radcliffe’s character to use their skills to steal back a computer chip someone else stole from him.
The first film had lots of ‘magic’ in it- there were lots of exciting tricks, which I quite enjoyed. The second film, as Daniel Radcliffe said a few times, was about ‘science always beating magic’. Which messed with my head, the ‘World’s Greatest Wizard’ (Harry Potter) saying that…although clever irony by the screen writers. I’m not so interested in science, I like the ‘oh my god that was amazing‘ response you get with magic. And some of the things they’d apparently ‘rehearsed’ or achieved were too far fetched and random even if science was involved.
Then there’s Thaddeus (Morgan Freeman). In the first film, the four framed him and he went to jail. His plot line made sense to the bigger picture and I won’t say anything more about him because it’s a big spoiler. The film opens with him reporting on Dylan’s father’s final trick. Which is another sub plot to keep track of- Dylan searching for an explanation for his Father’s death.
So when they actually got down to the big reveal, via 3 countries, I was left feeling a bit confused, to say the least! I liked the street tricks they did more than the actual final performance- that was definitely one of the more far fetched ones. I could see what was intended with the story, how it was almost an inversion of what you’d expect, but I didn’t feel as excited by it as I did by some of the other performances. Plus it was based on science again.
I thought Daniel Radcliffe was great in it and was amused by the fact that they got the typical London rainy weather spot on. Some of the magic was great to watch, but my overall feeling was they tried to cram too many sub plots and character developments in, making it a bit crowded. On face value, it was a great film. It’s only when you sit down and think about it properly that you realise how twisted it is!