While I didn't love “Now You See Me,” I think the ensemble cast is terrific, and I'm certainly willing to give that cast another chance.
I can already tell from the trailer, though, that they're going to double down on the thing that I didn't like about the first movie, and I should just accept that they're not remotely interested in the way stage magic actually works. If they had the rule that the only magic they could show in the film had to be captured in-camera, that would impress me. But when you can do anything, no matter if it's physically possible or not, it's a lot less exciting to me.
That didn't seem to bother audiences, though, because the film was a big hit around the world. The teaser trailer, released this morning, is mainly focused on the returning cast and some striking visuals, but the best moment of the entire thing comes at the very end, and it's a bit of meta-fiction that is pretty hard to dislike. Seeing Daniel Radcliffe play a not-particularly-adept stage magician is one of those things you don't know you want to see until the moment you actually see it. I'm so curious to see what the next twenty years of Radcliffe's career looks like that I wish I could just hit fast forward, just to sneak a peek. So far, he's done a pretty tremendous job of handling the baggage of being Harry Potter, and I suspect he's going to remain interesting as long as he makes choices like this.
Speaking of choices, I'd love to know what motivated Jesse Eisenberg to write this “honest film review” for the New Yorker. I'm not offended by it… after all, I'm able to confess when outside factors interfere with me giving something a fair shot. I just think it's funny that an actor who has generally been given the kind of career-long acclaim that Eisenberg has would reveal himself to be such a tender little thing. He views people who write about films with a very cynical eye, and he obviously buys into the same kind of shitty stereotyping that would drive him crazy if someone applied it to spoiled crybaby actors. I like Eisenberg. I'm excited to see his Lex Luthor next year. I think he has a strong eye for material, and he makes good choices… onscreen. But this choice is just petty and lame, and it sets up a situation where the next time he gets a bad review, he can dismiss it completely because “it's just someone who's mad about my article.” That's not a healthy way for any dialogue to occur, and it's about as far from honest as you can get.
I promise not to think about it when I see “Now You See Me 2,” Jesse. Let's hope the film can deliver.
“Now You See Me 2” is in theaters June 10, 2016.