The novelty’s vanished, but Now You See Me 2 doesn’t cheat

How many stage magic heist films do we need?

When Now You See Me was released back in 2013, the conceit at least seemed original: a quartet of Robin Hood magicians, known as the Four Horsemen, stage (literally) a series of audacious robberies targeted at the rich and unethical.…

Transcendence gets stuck in the existential mud

As grand themes go, self-awareness is certainly one of the grandest. Descartes’ famous proposition “I think therefore I am” is arguably the foundation of all Western philosophy.

After all, without self, without thought, there can be no perception therefore no knowledge.…

Everything is awesome with The Lego Movie

 

Brand movies are notoriously not good.

Generally reliant on a calculated blend of nostalgia and big-budget cheesiness, they are essentially vampires of good will, and however much money they do make, it’s never quite enough.

Who, for instance, authorized a $200 million adaptation of Battleship, a children’s guessing game?…

There’s no real trick to Now You See Me

 

I’ve always been slightly puzzled when people talk about the magic of cinema.

Sure, cinema can amaze and enthrall – Orson Welles called it a ribbon of dreams – but, unlike magic, it needs to be explicable.

However much The Prestige went on about the final act, the denouement, being the most important, it only works if it feels like what’s preceded has built up to it.…