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This Review Reveals Major Details About the Plot.

Here we go again

Now You See Me 2 (2016) on IMDb

Plot Overview

“Now You See Me 2” opens as did the first installment with teletype pages scrolling by until the camera drops down to four hands typing them. This is going to involve a con executed by four players: street-magician–card-sharp J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), mentalist–hypnotist–small-time–con-man Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Houdini-like–escape-artist new recruit Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) seam­lessly replacing Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher) of the earlier episode, and pick­pocket–card-thrower–safe-cracker Jack Wilder (Dave Franco). They are being run by Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) at the behest of the Eye of Horus an exclusive magician society—member­ship by invite only. They are told to lay low since their first heist of a year and a half ago. They'd left magic-debunker Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Free­man) holding the bag and now he's in Newburgh Federal Penitentiary, this as revenge for having goaded Dylan's father Lionel Shrike into a fatal try at an under­water trick beyond his capability back in 1984. Rhodes is a mole now within the FBI busy misdirecting them.

Atlas is mysteriously contacted directly by The Eye to reactivate the Horsemen. That leads to their exposure by an irate business­man who'd been ripped off by them earlier. His revenge plan gets hijacked, though, by a ruth­less tech genius Walter Mabry (Daniel Rad­cliffe) who manipu­lates the Horse­men into stealing for him a heavily guarded computer chip capable of universal computer surveillance (“This is the key to every computer system on the planet. I want you to steal it for me.”) There are a few more twists, but the plot itself is self-explanatory as it goes along, the point of which seems to be to dazzle the viewer with "magic" and surprises.


Gambler's Royal
Flush We are told the purpose of this last endeavor was to teach the Horsemen to function together as a “coherent whole.” Their example could motivate many different kinds of groups with diverse talents among its members, but here we're looking at Christian churches whose unity in diversity is gone over in Paul's well known first letter to the Corinthians, (1Cor. 14:26) “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an inter­pret­ation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” A comparison is made to body parts: (1Cor. 12:20-21) “But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.” This particular aspect of a coordinated unity playing on body parts is particularly well illustrated when The Horsemen posing as potential buyers having come to examine the chip, they've managed to paste it onto a playing card. The sellers getting wise that some­thing is amiss decide to search this crew, pat them down. The "card" (through some amazing CGI) travels down the sleeve and all over the body, from foot to crown, of individual "buyers" as they get patted down, each part necessary to the con.

To prepare to even get access to the facility as perspective buyers, the Horsemen had researched some real scientists and went disguised as a scientist and his entourage that would necessarily include a changeable consort the main scientist was known to travel with. The girl Horse­man Lula, naturally, went as “Buffy” the consort. One of the guys played the scientist.

When the meet took place, the gangster seller expressed surprise that the scientist was letting her consort speak for her. Oops! The Horse­men had got tripped up on the sexes. The scientist was female, her consort “Buffy” male. They had to switch roles on the spot and Lula handle scientific conversation with­out any prep.

This is not so farfetched when applied to Christian churches. I go to an unaffiliated Protestant church that stresses adherence to the Bible as our authority. When selecting our preaching minister, our assistant minister told him what were the two most common Bible translations the congregation uses, and that there were "others" also. The minister will preach from the popular ones and occasion­ally say, “Other trans­lations use ‘such and such’ a word.” The King James Version (KJV) is one of these "others", a marginalized “Buffy” version.

After the main service came the classes. I started going to one called The Times and the Scriptures, A Christian curriculum for developing people with an under­standing of the times, to know what America ought to do (cf. First Chronicles 12:32). This scripture refers to (1Chron. 12:32) “the children of Issachar, which were men that had under­standing of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” In the biblical context it dealt with trans­ferring the kingdom from King Saul to King David, the tribe of Issachar evidently knowing how to go about it. In class we read a graduate lecture “The English Bible” given by George P. Marsh in 1859 when all they had of English translations was the Authorized King James Version (KJV). The professor recommended no other English trans­lation be made. Suddenly the KJV was the English Bible, every­thing else the congregation used being unspecified "others" that had come along later contrary to academic advice. Indeed, as the class is directed broadly at America, a survey—mentioned on The Narrow Path radio program—showed that 82% of people who read the Bible at least once a month either used the King James Version (KJV) or had one in their home. Our congregation's favorite versions were thus the Buffies. So we then started quoting the KJV in class, and those with "other" versions sat quietly by as good Buffies. This lasted for years until a woman wandered in one day from the main service and jumped in right away with her "other" version that I ignored as I read from the KJV like a good scientist ignoring a talk­ative consort. This did not set well with the rest of the class. This movie shows it's not easy to establish a “coherent whole” when new versions populate the pews but the KJV still hangs on in the culture.

One aid is suggested in the movie when the Horsemen (posing as potential buyers) are frisked and flip the "card" around among them­selves like a hot potato. This is reminiscent of the Corinthians passing the mike around (in a manner of speaking) when they delivered their prophesies for edification, (1Cor. 14:29-33) “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” If we pass the ball by having two or three different versions read—in our day when a completed canon has replaced prophets—for comparison at every passage, then we likely avoid the worst errors, establishing truth. There is one additional consideration in making this transition: Paul was talking of a future day when a mature canon would be available, (1Cor. 13:9-10) “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” In 1859 at the time of the lecture, we did have one mature Bible version accepted by all. We still have it but it's in competition with others. Still, it's so well established that many regard it as sacred and don't want it messed with, in similar fashion as Lula didn't want men pawing her for contra­band; they were liable to get slapped. My reaction has furthered my bad reputation of being "heavy-handed."

Another consideration is Solomon's dark saying, (Eccl. 4:13-14) “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.” A foolish adult authority mixing it with a poor wise kid has been a theme in Oh, so many movies, some of which I've reviewed. There's an analogy can be made between the way regular street talk imitated by modern versions would sound in comparison to a sacred KJV dialect, that and crude prison language compared to our ordinary speech. As relates to this movie, the prisoner was allowed out for a day escorted by the FBI arresting officer. I will only go to Bible studies in the KJV, or if others are to be used, then it should be two or three with comparisons made, and any new version will need to be limited and accompanied by the KJV, not quoted as a stand-alone. This has worked in some places, but has made me unpopular in others. But consider that we Christians are required to be in unity, and that was hard for us Protestants with our different doctrines back when we had but one English Bible to refer to; it's well nigh impossible with different versions; this movie seems to offer some guidance. There's a saying they had: “The eye, it may not lie, but don't think for a moment it can't be lied to.” Your eye may be reading what it says in your Bible, but with so many versions with their petty or major differences, how do you know how true your fly-by-night version really is?

Production Values

This sequel “” (2016) to the 2013 “Now You See Me” was directed by Jon M. Chu. Its screen­play was cut by Ed Solomon, the story by Ed Solomon & Pete Chiarelli, characters developed by Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt. The cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco as “The Four Horseman”, Melanie Laurent and Mark Ruffalo as the agents who were pursuing them, and Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman as wild cards. They all held their own. Daniel Radcliffe makes a surprisingly good villain.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for violence and some language. The movie was awfully busy displaying its tricks, though that's what it's all about. The stunts and magic really draw the eye. The fight sequences, though, are subpar. They're poorly shot and hard to follow. The establishing shots, never­the­less, were good. The music also enhanced the action.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

If you place dazzle over substance and can manage a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief, I believe this movie should suit you.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.