REVIEW: AMERICAN ULTRA

CAST

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman V Superman)
Kristen Stewart (Twilight)
Topher Grace (That 70s Show)
Connie Britton (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010)
Walton Goggins (Red Dirt)
John Leguizamo (Kick-Ass 2)
Bill Pullman (Independence Day)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Michael Papajohn (Spider-Man)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)

Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is a stoner who lives in the sleepy town of Liman, West Virginia, where he works as a convenience store clerk, and is planning to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart) on a trip to Hawaii however due to a fear of travel he is unable to board the plane. It is revealed he has had similar issues trying to leave town in the past and does not understand why Phoebe is so nice about it. Meanwhile, in Langley, Virginia, CIA Agent Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) learns that Mike, the sole survivor of her unsuccessful Ultra program is to be eliminated by her rival, Adrian Yates (Topher Grace), whose Tough Guy project succeeded where hers failed. Feeling that she has a duty to protect Mike, Lasseter travels to Liman and “activates” Mike through a series of code words. Because of his erased memory, Mike fails to understand their significance, and she leaves in resigned frustration.
Mike finds two of Yates’ men planting a bomb in his car and is attacked, but his training allows him to quickly overpower and kill them. Horrified, he calls Phoebe and follows through, who reunites with him just as they’re arrested for the apparent murders. Yates sends two Tough Guy operatives, Laugher (Walton Goggins) and Crane (Monique Ganderton), to kill Mike and Phoebe at the police station, but they evade Laugher and kill Crane before escaping to the apartment of Mike’s drug dealing friend Rose (John Leguizamo), who begrudgingly hides them. On the way there Mike becomes increasingly unnerved by an array of “new” facts he knows regarding military strategy. He also realises he has very little memory regarding his past prior to living in the town other than his name and Phoebe and wonders aloud why he never thinks of these things.
Yates places the city under quarantine, and puts Lasseter and Mike’s pictures on the local news. Lasseter contacts her former assistant, Petey Douglas (Tony Hale), to send her a weapon that she can use to defend herself and Mike. Yates finds out and threatens Petey with charges of treason, causing Lasseter to be denied further help. Yates then attacks Rose’s house with three agents using a lethal gas. The agents kill Rose and his two guards, while Phoebe rescues Mike from the gas, which she is familiar with. When pressed for answers on her knowledge of the gas, Phoebe reluctantly reveals she was a CIA agent assigned to be Mike’s handler, leaving him heartbroken.
Laugher ambushes the duo and captures Phoebe. Mike is rescued by Lasseter and insists on returning back to his house. He then learns that he volunteered for the Ultra Program due to his criminal record and subsequently had his memories erased. He also learns that Phoebe’s original mission was to get him settled in Liman and then leave, but chose to stay because she legitimately fell in love with him. She also reveals to Mike that many phobia’s including a fear of leaving town were implanted to keep him safe. Angry Mike decides to go home deciding he no longer cares if he dies. Lasseter follows telling him she and Phoebe genuinely care for him. Yates’ men locate him, but Mike and Lasseter fight them off, prompting Yates to order a drone strike on the area. Petey refuses to follow his orders and secretly reports the situation to Yates’ superior, Raymond Krueger (Bill Pullman). Mike contacts Yates and arranges to exchange himself for Phoebe. He sets off a series of fireworks and dispatches all of Yates’ men before fighting and defeating Laugher, who is spared when Mike learns he is a mentally unbalanced man forcibly conscripted to Yates’ Tough Guy program. Yates attempts to flee with Phoebe, but she escapes, while Yates is caught by Lasseter and nearly killed before Krueger intervenes and stops her.
Phoebe finds Mike and they both leave the store where Mike then proposes to her at gunpoint before State Troopers/Sheriffs. While in a forest in the rain Krueger talks to Yates and Lasseter, both kneeling and placed in bonds. Yates argues that what he was doing would have been okay with Krueger if the results had been successful. Krueger admits that he would have approved of what Yates had done if the results were successful. Yates, believing his life is being spared, stands and is executed by Krueger. Lasseter convinces Krueger to spare her life and Mike’s by pointing out that, by taking out all of Yates’ agents, he demonstrated he was both a valuable asset and that the Ultra program was already successful. Six months later, Mike and Phoebe are in Philippines, Manila, agents on assignment, quite happy and confident now that they know who they are.American ultra has excellently choreographed action, many of the action moments are skewed away from the predictable methods of combat and filled with absurd or off-the-wall methods that startle and amuse in equal measure. For a quirky, funny – and surprisingly violent – thrill-ride, look no further.

REVIEW: ADVENTURELAND

 

CAST

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman V Superman)
Kristen Stewart (Twilight)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Kristen Wiig (Zoolander 2)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Wendie Malick (American Housewife)
Margarita Levieva (Spread)

 

It would have been easy to typecast Greg Mottola post-Superbad as a director of teen sex comedies, and based on the trailers, you’d be forgiven to jumping to that conclusion regarding his new film, Adventureland. Sure, the kids are in their early 20s this time around, but even in the first twenty minutes or so, Adventureland looks like Michael Cera’s Superbad character has just grown up a little, graduated with a bachelor’s degree, but still hasn’t managed to go all the way with a girl. And it’s not like it would have been a bad thing had that been the case, because I love Superbad, but the surprise of Adventureland is how much more adventure it has in mind.
Adventureland is actually a semi-autobiographical film, written by Mottola about his own gig at a rundown amusement park in the summer of 1987. The director’s stand-in, what could have been the Michael Cera role, is taken over by Jesse Eisenberg from The Squid and the Whale–and right there, the Superbad comparisons dissolve. James is not Evan four years later, he’s an older Walt Berkman exiled to the suburbs. It’s like Noah Baumbach lost his summer internship and has to crash on Judd Apatow’s couch to get back on track.James is all set to spend his post-undergrad/pre-graduate student summer lollygagging around Europe when the effects of Reaganomics hit too close to home. His father (an appropriately shattered Jack Gilpin) has been demoted and now James is going to have to figure out how to pay to live in New York and attend Columbia on his own. Having had no prior job experience and carrying a B.A. in comparative literature, the wannabe journalist ends up stuck working the scam games at the local amusement park, Adventureland. There, the sheltered boy meets the legion of disaffected like himself who also have nowhere else to go. Sure, amongst their ranks are the perpetual losers, like James’ childhood nemesis Frigo (Matt Bush), but there is also Joel (Martin Starr), the pipe-smoking Russian-lit enthusiast, and the intense, rebellious Emily (Kristen Stewart). A cut above in rank is the too-cool rockstar, Connell (Ryan Reynolds), biding his time as Adventureland’s maintenance man until he can move his musical career to Los Angeles. And, of course, there are the bosses, the slightly creepy and oddly square Bobby and Paulette (two of SNL’s best cast members, Bill Hader and the adorable Kristen Wiig). They aren’t really parental figures, more like that tragically uncool aunt and uncle who always want to be involved in your business.It is among these people that James will get his first taste of the real world. A devotee of Dickens’ travelogues because the writer visited prisons and insane asylums, the pretentious college boy is going to realize that life is one big prison and insane asylum itself–but only if you let it be. A romance with Emily has unforeseen complications, since Connell is cheating on his wife with the youngster, but so too does James find distraction in the theme park’s resident hottie, Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva). The summer world of Adventureland is like one giant pause, a period of figuring things out, of realizing that most parents don’t have a clue (actually, James’ college pal tells him that in the second scene) and it’s not because they are parents, but because no one has a clue. Least of all James.  MV5BMjIxNTE3OTQzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTU3MjU0Mg@@._V1_Most filmmakers tend to treat the 1980s as an alien world built out of kitsch and spandex, but Greg Mottola thankfully keeps that almost entirely at bay. Maybe it speaks to the reality of what he really went through, maybe it’s a reluctance to fall back on faux nostalgia, but outside of a running gag about Falco and one appearance by Ronald Reagan on a television set, there aren’t a lot of signals that this is even a period piece. Loser twentysomethings, just like loser teens, are timeless. Honestly, I was in high school in 1987, and I used to hang out with a lot of these kids.
What adds a whole new twist to Adventureland is that the smarty-pants stuff is put right up against more lowbrow funny business so they can duke it out like some kind of West Side Story for comedy styles. So, a Brian Eno reference is immediately followed by a guy peeing on a window. Vomit, nut punches, and disco dancing can actually be complementary to ivy league wordplay and nebbishy navel gazing. Hell, there is even room for a Foreigner cover band! It’s a fabulous balance–chuckle at the dry humor of Jesse Eisenberg saying things no one else understands, guffaw at Bill Hader losing his temper and going ballistic. Adventureland may not be the gutbuster some of other films were, it’s got way more of the human element. That’s because growing up and growing in love is the greatest adventure of all.

REVIEW: ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

Starring

Woody Harrelson (Seven Psychopaths)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Emma Stone (Gangster Squad)
Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City)
Zoey Deutch (Why Him?)
Avan Jogia (Shaft)
Luke Wilson (The Golfinch)
Thomas Middleditch (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
Bill Murray (Groundhog Day)
Rachel Luttrell (Stargate: Atlantis)

Abigail Breslin and Avan Jogia in Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)Ten years after the events of the first film, survivors Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock have become experts in identifying and disposing of various zombies and set up their new home in the abandoned White House. Columbus decides to propose to Wichita using the Hope Diamond, while Tallahassee rebuffs Little Rock’s hopes of starting her own family. The next morning, Tallahassee finds a note from Wichita and Little Rock, who have left due to Little Rock feeling Tallahassee still treats her like a child and Wichita’s fear she is too attached to Columbus.Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, and Emma Stone in Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)A month later, while exploring a mall, Columbus is startled by a ditzy blonde named Madison, who’s survived Zombieland alone by hiding the majority of the time inside the freezer of a Pinkberry store. Madison quickly annoys Tallahassee, but Columbus invites her back to the White House, where the two have sex. Returning and discovering Columbus has slept with Madison, Wichita explains that Little Rock has left for Graceland with a pacifist from Berkeley, and informs the group of more agile and durable “super zombies.” Fearing for Little Rock’s safety, the group heads toward Graceland in a rundown minivan.On the road, the group tries to commandeer a luxury RV since Columbus has a strict “no clown” policy that prevents them from getting in an ice-cream truck. As they enter the RV, the alarm goes off causing zombies to attack. Methodically fighting back as a team, they encounter one of the super-zombies that takes multiple gunshots to kill, leading Columbus to nickname it the “T-800” after the Terminator franchise. Madison shows signs of “zombification,” forcing Columbus to lead her into the forest to shoot her. The group arrives at Graceland, but finds it in ruins, which greatly upsets Tallahassee who is a great admirer of the King. However, they discover “the Beast,” Tallahassee’s modified presidential limousine which was stolen by Little Rock, at a nearby Elvis-themed motel run by Nevada, who reveals Little Rock took another vehicle toward Babylon, a hippie commune. Bonding over their love of Elvis, Nevada and Tallahassee spend the night together.Woody Harrelson and Rosario Dawson in Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)The group awakens to find the Beast being crushed by a monster truck driven by Albuquerque and Flagstaff, who strongly resemble Tallahassee and Columbus. Super zombies arrive and Albuquerque explains they have turned back from their journey west due to hordes of super zombies moving east. Facing the super zombies alone, the two are bitten, turn into zombies, and are both killed.Heading out, the group finds Madison, alive and driving the clown-themed ice-cream truck. Rejoining the group, she explains that her nut allergy caused symptoms similar to zombification. Instead of shooting her, Columbus spared her in the forest. The group arrives at Babylon, give up their weapons, and find Little Rock. A satisfied Tallahassee departs, only to find a horde of super zombies attracted by the commune’s fireworks and drives back to warn everybody. Left without guns, Tallahassee devises a plan to kill the zombies with exploding biodiesel and then have commune members, armed with barricade shields, corral the stragglers off of a skyscraper with himself as the bait.Luke Wilson and Rosario Dawson in Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)The zombie horde is more massive than expected and the group is surrounded and almost overwhelmed. Luckily, Nevada arrives in Albuquerque’s monster truck, rescuing the group, although the vehicle soon rolls over. Escaping upstairs, the survivors corral the zombies off the roof. Tallahassee uses a construction crane hook to dangle just out of reach, but the last two zombies seize his leg as they fall. Little Rock shoots them with a pistol given to her earlier by Tallahassee, rescuing him. The two reconcile and Wichita accepts Columbus’ proposal of marriage. Little Rock breaks up with Berkeley, who hooks up with Madison. The two stay behind as the group leave Babylon, joined by Nevada. Columbus remarks that they have finally found their home in each other.In a mid-credits scene, Bill Murray witnesses the start of the zombie outbreak ten years earlier while promoting a third Garfield film, before making his escape while killing multiple zombies. In a post-credits scene, Murray is shown earlier practicing coughing up a hairball as a joke in his interview.This was a breath of fresh air and a blast from the past all in one. I also enjoyed the plot and storyline. It stayed pretty true to the original Zombieland feeling. I really enjoyed this!

REVIEW: ZOMBIELAND

CAST

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman v Superman)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens)
Amber Heard (Machete Kills)
Bill Murray (St. Vincent)

the-favourite-1200-1200-675-675-crop-000000Right from the start Zombieland is in your face. The opening sequence alone is just great and recalls Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide. Also, it doesn’t try to copy any of the other countless zombie movies. It’s a very direct film that doesn’t waste time with needless character buildup, that would only slow the pacing. Characterization is achieved in between humor and action sequences and that approach works well. Zombieland starts by introducing the overly cautious and neurotic, Columbus. Columbus is the quiet geeky guy who probably spent his high school years over thinking every detail and was quite possibly bullied by jocks. Now in a zombie infested world, he is forced to become more manly and athletic when taking on the undead. Then there’s Tallahassee, who is the gung ho bad ass. I think every zombie movie needs a Tallahassee type because they are so much fun to watch. Harrelson really steals the show in Zombieland. I don’t think I’ve seen him this good since Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. He looks like he could have fun in any situation in life pre or post zombie infected. I like the scene where Tallahassee is standing next to a bright yellow Hummer and just randomly firing a machine gun.


Next up are the manipulating sisters, Little Rock and Wichita, who are both cute and annoying. I was annoyed with their characters at first and as their characters developed they became a little more tolerable. You also need sisters like this in a post zombie world because they will keep you on your toes. They are fun in their own ways and have both survived tough times together. Their strong bond makes them believable and you accept them for who they are.


zombieland-bill-murrayWith all the wonder characters and backgrounds aside, this is really about killing zombies. Who doesn’t want to roam America’s highways shooting zombies? It’s the ultimate road movie, as the four travel together and fight hundreds of zombies along the way. As much fun as that is, the ending sequence at the amusement park, cranks up the fun a lot higher. The combination of rides, amusement park games, and shooting zombies is very entertaining. Director Ruben Fleischer does a tremendous job directing action in the last half of Zombieland. That’s what these movies are all about to me.MV5BMTQ1MjUxNDIxOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjgyODYxNw@@._V1_

The cheap thrills of just going for it and taking out all that pent up aggressive shooting, stabbing, running over, hammering, and beating the undead any way you can. Overall Zombieland is a lot of fun and a good way to kick off  a Halloween season.

REVIEW: 30 MINUTES OR LESS

 

CAST

Jessie Eisenberg (Batman v Superman)
Danny McBride (Land of The Lost)
Aziz Ansari (Funny People)
Nick Swardson (The House Bunny)
Dilshad Vadsaria (Within The Ivory Tower)
Michaell Pena (Babel)
Bianca Kajlich (Halloween: Resurrection)
Fred Ward (Tremors)
Jack Foley (Man of Steel)

 

MV5BNTU0NjE3MjU2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE4NjE2MjE@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) is a marijuana-smoking, slacker pizza delivery driver in Grand Rapids who has trouble completing the “30 Minutes Or Less” policy that his employer issues, leading to a reprimand from his boss Chris (Brett Gelman). Nick’s school teacher friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) discovers that Nick has slept with Chet’s twin sister, Kate, (Dilshad Vadsaria) on the night of their high school graduation and that he still harbors feelings for her. After a heated argument, Nick storms out, ending their friendship.
hero-cDwayne King (Danny McBride) and Travis Cord (Nick Swardson), are miserable living under the shadow of Dwayne’s domineering father the Major (Fred Ward), a multimillion-dollar lottery winner. Dwayne confides in lap-dancer Juicy (Bianca Kajlich) about his contempt for his father and Dwayne’s presumed inheritance. Juicy tells him she knows a hit-man who will kill Dwayne’s dad for $100,000. At Travis’s suggestion, he and Dwayne devise a plot to kidnap a complete stranger and strap a remote-controlled bomb to his chest, to compel him to rob a bank for them for the hit money Dwayne needs. After seeing an advertisement for the pizzeria that Nick works at, they order a pizza and wait for a driver to come to their hideout. When Nick arrives, Dwayne and Travis (who are wearing a gorilla and monkey mask) assault him and Travis chloroforms Nick.
imagesWhen Nick wakes up, he finds a vest rigged with explosives strapped and buckled onto his torso, with both a timer and a cellular phone-activated trigger. Disguised, Dwayne and Travis tell him his situation: if he does not rob a bank within 10 hours, the bomb will detonate. For effect, Dwayne demonstrate another bomb blowing up a stuffed Teddy bear. Dwayne states that if Nick dares going to the police, they will remotely detonate the bomb, as they will be monitoring him. In his panic, Nick goes to a school where Chet is working and desperately pleads with him to help. After plans to deactivate or remove the bomb are dashed, Chet says he has no choice but to rob the bank. Still uneasy, Nick asks Chet to assist him. Chet reluctantly agrees.
dc-comics-crisis-on-infinite-earths-crossoverEn route to the bank, Nick stops by his workplace to tell off his boss and quit, then goes to see Kate and say some potential final words to her. Nick and Chet hold up the bank and obtain money while the bank manager pulled the alarm, forcing Nick and Chet to flee quickly as Dwayne and Travis, outside, watch the commotion. A police officer arrives, but when Nick shows him the bomb vest, he runs away. Nick calls Dwayne and tells him he has the money. Dwayne says he and Travis will meet him at an abandoned rail-yard to make the exchange. Dwayne and Travis go to a restaurant instead as Dwayne calls up Juicy to get her hit-man ally and to head to the rail-yard. When Dwayne asks Travis to be the one to detonate the bomb if the time comes, Travis starts to become unsettled.
dc-comics-crisis-on-infinite-earths-crossoverNick waits for Dwayne and Travis at the railyard while Chet hides nearby to avoid disclosing his involvement in the scheme. Juicy and the hit-man Chango (Michael Peña) arrive to pick up the money. Nick hands Chango the money and expects Chango to give him the code which will deactivate the bomb. When Nick keeps asking him for the code, Chango gets aggravated and holds Nick at gunpoint. Chet appears and strikes Chango with a metal bar while Nick incapacitates Juicy. The two grab the money and escape. Dwayne gets a call from Nick who berates Dwayne for not giving Chango the code to the bomb, and dares him to detonate the bomb with the money at his side. Nick tells Chet that this is a tactic for when the third call is made to them, the details to leave the money and the codes will be made.dc-comics-crisis-on-infinite-earths-crossoverOverly frustrated by the turn of events and when Nick doesn’t answer the phone again, Dwayne activates the speed dial number on his phone for the bomb to explode, but Travis altered the numbers while Dwayne wasn’t looking because he was getting nervous about Dwayne’s gradually violent attitude. When Dwayne thinks that Nick is calling him, it is instead Chango who informs him about what had happened during the exchange. Chango states that the deal is off and that he’ll be coming after Dwayne next. Rethinking their plan, the two head to Kate’s apartment in their masks and kidnap her while she was in the restroom. Chango breaks into the Major’s house to find information regarding Dwayne’s location and finds a hand-drawn map to the scrapyard. While there, the Major attacks him with a pen gun as Chango asks why he is protecting Dwayne if he is the one that called the hit. The Major is then shot in the stomach by Chango after a struggle. Upon applying some peroxide, Chango uses the information he found in Dwayne’s room to head to the scrapyard. Dwayne calls Nick to let him know that he has Kate and if he doesn’t meet at the scrapyard to give him the money, he will kill her.imagesNick arrives at the scrapyard and exchanges the money for Kate. Dwayne gives Nick the code (which is Dwayne’s favorite sexual position: 69 69 69) to deactivate and unbuckle the bomb with just minutes to spare. Dwayne has them at gunpoint but Nick has Chet fake having a sniper on them by pointing with his laser pointer. Dwayne and Travis believe him and drop their weapons and leave with the money. However, Nick is brutally knocked out by Chango who now has Dwayne at gunpoint, demanding for the money. Dwayne gives him the money but Chango decides to still kill him. Travis, who has a flamethrower, torches Chango. While being burned on the ground, Chango shoots Dwayne in the shoulder and shoots the gas tank on Travis’s back and it explodes.

Nick takes the money and leaves with Kate and Chet. Dwayne saves Travis by beating the fire of the exploded gas tank with his shirt. Dwayne gets in his van to chase after Nick and steal the money and when he has Nick at gunpoint just as his van explodes, seemingly killing him. Nick reveals he reactivated the bomb and put it in Dwayne’s van. Afterwards the trio talk about what they’ll do with their money but it squirts blue dye on Chet’s face.

In a post-credits scene, Dwayne (who survived the bomb explosion), Travis, the Major (who is recuperating in a wheelchair), and Juicy are seen in an advertisement for their new family business called “Major Tan: Tanning Salon.”

This is one of the top comedy films of 2011 from the director of Zombie land, a hilarious fun filled fast paced story with funny twists and turns and all pulled off by a brilliant cast, there is nothing bad to say really except it does have a short 80min running time, but if your into great laugh out loud comedy this is a must.

REVIEW: NOW YOU SEE ME 2

Starring

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman V Superman)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Endgame)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Dave Franco (21 Jump Street)
Daniel Radcliffe (Jungle)
Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Jay Chou (The Green Hornet)
Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show)
Michael Caine (Harry Brown)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight)
David Warshofsky (Running Scared)
Tsai Chin (Memoirs od a Geisha)
Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Man Up)
Ben Lamb (A Christnas Prince)
Jim Pirri (Victorious)

Morgan Freeman in Now You See Me 2 (2016)Eighteen months after outwitting the FBI, the members of the Four Horsemen – J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson) and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco) – are in hiding in New York City, awaiting further instructions from the Eye, the secret society of magicians they’ve been recruited into. Atlas, having grown tired of waiting for a mission, seeks out the Eye himself. His search leads him to a tunnel in which he hears a voice that tells him that his wait may be coming to an end. The Horsemen’s handler, FBI Special Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) ultimately assigns them a new mission, exposing corrupt businessman Owen Case (Ben Lamb) whose new software secretly steals data on its users for Case’s benefit. Lula May (Lizzy Caplan) is added to the team to replace former member Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), who has left the Horsemen after breaking up with Atlas.Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me 2 (2016)The Horsemen hijack the launch party for the new software, but the show is interrupted by a mysterious individual who reveals to the world that Wilder, believed to be dead, is actually alive, and that Rhodes is their mole, forcing him to escape. While escaping, the Horsemen enter their escape tube on a roof and emerge in Macau, where they are captured by mercenaries and Chase McKinney (also played by Woody Harrelson) Merritt’s twin brother. The Horsemen are then brought before Chase’s employer, technology prodigy Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) Case’s former business partner, who faked his own death after Case stole Walter’s company. Mabry conscripts the Horsemen into stealing the data-mining device developed by Case to prevent him from using it. The chip allows the user to decrypt and access any electronic device around the world. The Horsemen agree to steal the device.Michael Caine and Daniel Radcliffe in Now You See Me 2 (2016)They get supplies at a famous magic shop in Macau, run by Li (Jay Chou) and Bu Bu (Tsai Chin) and secretly contact the Eye to arrange to hand over the device after they steal it. Meanwhile, Rhodes a branded fugitive is forced to spring his rival Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), whom Rhodes blames for the death of his father, out of jail for help.Dave Franco in Now You See Me 2 (2016)The Horsemen infiltrate the facility and steal the chip, despite being interrogated and searched by security guard Allen Scott-Frank (Henry Lloyd-Hughes). Atlas is then confronted by Mabry, revealing that Atlas had been fooled into thinking that Mabry was the Eye. Rhodes intervenes and pretends to retrieve the device, but is captured by Mabry’s henchmen and taken to a nearby yacht. There, he learns Mabry is acting on behalf of his father, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), whom Rhodes exposed with the help of the Horsemen in the first film. Tressler places Rhodes in a replica of the same safe that his father died in and leaves him to drown, but Rhodes escapes and is rescued by the Horsemen. They find that the chip they had stolen appears to be a fake.Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me 2 (2016)Rhodes and the Horsemen broadcast that they will be performing live in London at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Mabry and Tressler, thinking that they have the computer chip, make haste to London, where the Horsemen are performing a series of tricks on the streets. At the Shard, Mabry, Tressler and Chase discover that Rhodes is still alive and capture the five, taking them on his private plane. Mabry takes the card from them, and Rhodes and the other Horsemen are thrown out of the plane supposedly in flight. However, Tressler discovers that the plane has never taken off, and instead is on a barge (with special effects that made it look like the plane was in the air) in the middle of the River Thames, with their criminal activities being broadcast live to the world by the Horsemen in the process. Mabry, Tressler and Chase are arrested and Rhodes, now going by his real surname, “Shrike”, entrusts the information they’ve gathered on the real criminals’ activities to the FBI, who allows him a head start to escape.Woody Harrelson in Now You See Me 2 (2016)Rhodes and the Horsemen are then taken to meet the leaders of the Eye in a secret library in Greenwich Observatory. They find that the members of the Eye include Li, Bu Bu, Allen Scott-Frank and Thaddeus Bradley. Bradley reveals that he was actually Lionel Shrike’s partner, and he had been masquerading as his rival as part of their planned act; he had exposed Lionel’s first act planning to be dumbfounded by his second act, only to abandon the Eye after Lionel’s death. Before Bradley leaves, he asks Rhodes to be his successor in the Eye’s leadership and requests that the Horsemen enter a curtain. The Horsemen, along with Rhodes, go behind the curtain, and find a door behind it. They enter the room and find a spiral staircase; as they walk, the camera zooms out to the stairs, forming an Eye.Daniel Radcliffe in Now You See Me 2 (2016)If you’re looking for something to pass the time, or for movie night, I suggest this. Like I said, it’s just a fun, simple movie.

REVIEW: NOW YOU SEE ME

Starring

Jesse Eisenberg (Batman V Superman)
Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games)
Isla Fisher (Nocturnal Animals)
Dave Franco (21 Jump Street)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Endgame)
Mélanie Laurent (6 Underground)
Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight)
Jessica Lindsey (Instructions Not Included)
Michael Caine (Harry BRown)
David Warshofsky (Running Scared)
Michael Kelly (Man of Steel)
Common (The Kitchen)
José Garcia (The Take)
Elias Koteas (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Chris Browning (Agent Carter)

Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me (2013)Four stage magicians, J. Daniel “Danny” Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson), Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), and Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), are each given a tarot card that leads them to the same empty New York City apartment where they find information from an unknown benefactor.Mark Ruffalo in Now You See Me (2013)A year later, the four have their first major performance as the Four Horsemen in an elaborate Las Vegas show funded by insurance magnate Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine). Their final trick appears to transport one of the audience members to the vault of his bank, the Crédit Républicain in Paris, where stacks of new euro bills are stored. At the magicians’ command, the fans in the vault activate, drawing the bills into the vents and then showering the Las Vegas crowd with them. The euros are shown to be real, and the vault in Paris is found to be empty of its recent shipment of euros. FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo), and Interpol agent Alma Dray (Mélanie Laurent), are then partnered to investigate the Horsemen. The two question the magicians but have no evidence to hold them. Dylan and Alma turn to Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman), a former magician and now a popular video host who makes millions of dollars exposing the tricks behind magic acts. Thaddeus demonstrates how the Horsemen used a mock vault under the Las Vegas stage, and explains that the group must have stolen the money in Paris before it arrived at the bank, and replaced it with flash paper which ignited but left no residue as evidence.Morgan Freeman, Mélanie Laurent, and Jessica Lindsey in Now You See Me (2013)Dylan, Alma, and Thaddeus follow the Horsemen to their next show in New Orleans. There, their final trick appears to transfer over 140 million dollars from Tressler’s private accounts to those in the audience, made up of people that were denied insurance claims by Tressler’s company in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Dylan and Alma attempt to apprehend the four, but the magicians elude arrest. Tressler hires Thaddeus to expose the Horsemen in revenge for the loss of his money. Alma investigates the Horsemen and determines they are connected to a group called the Eye, a small group of magicians that claim to have access to real magic and only accept the best of the best magicians, who have to be invited and pass tests. She finds out that one of the Eye’s members, Lionel Shrike, had previously been exposed by Thaddeus, but died in a locked-safe escape trick he was performing in an attempt to regain his standing. Alma suspects a fifth person is aiding the Horsemen.Isla Fisher in Now You See Me (2013)Dylan discovers his cellphone has been stolen and bugged by the Horsemen, allowing them to access the FBI servers and remain ahead of the investigation. Tracking the real phone leads the FBI to a New York City apartment. When they raid it, three of the Horsemen escape while Jack recovers numerous documents and then leads the authorities on a high-speed car chase. Jack loses control of his car, causing it to flip and catch fire. Dylan is unable to save Jack, but manages to recover the papers, pointing to the Horsemen’s next planned crime, stealing millions of dollars in cash out of a large safe of the Elkhorn company. By the time Dylan, Alma, and Thaddeus find the safe, it had just been stolen and loaded into a truck. They quickly apprehend the truck, arrange for it to be delivered to its arranged destination, and Dylan hides inside. But when it arrives, and is opened by Bradley and his assistant, it contains nothing but balloon animals.Jesse Eisenberg in Now You See Me (2013)The Horsemen broadcast that they will perform their final show that night at 5 Pointz, inviting the public to attend. The FBI and police converge on the scene and amid the chaos search for the Horsemen. The remaining Horsemen appear to the crowd, giving their fans a farewell and a message about an ulterior purpose, and then run to jump off a roof; Dylan attempts to shoot them but Alma pushes his arm so he misses. The three Horseman jump, turning into a shower of money over the crowd. The money is counterfeit, but the audience’s race to collect it prevents the authorities from tracking the real Horsemen.Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me (2013)After the show, Thaddeus walks to his car, only to find it full of the money stolen from the real Elkhorn safe, which is later revealed to have never been stolen but was really hidden behind a giant mirror to make it look like it was gone. Assumed to be the fifth Horseman, he is arrested. Dylan speaks to Thaddeus in jail, where Thaddeus slowly comes to realize that Alma’s theory was correct, and Dylan was the fifth Horseman. Dylan quietly walks away, leaving Thaddeus shouting “Why?” Elsewhere, the Horsemen (including Jack, who had faked his death using a cadaver and a duplicate car) meet at the carousel in Central Park, and use their tarot cards to turn it on. Dylan arrives and welcomes the four to the Eye.Later, at the Pont des Arts, Dylan meets with Alma and reveals that he is Shrike’s son. He brought the Horsemen together to get retribution for his father’s death: the Elkhorn Safe Company for providing a faulty safe that led to the accident; Thaddeus, for humiliating and impoverishing his father and forcing him to try the new trick to regain his standing; and the Crédit Républicain and Tressler’s insurance companies for failing to pay out on Shrike’s life insurance. Alma, who has come into a romantic relationship with Dylan, easily decides not to turn him in. She takes a lock and a key that Dylan produces, attaches the lock among the other love locks on the railing, and throws the key into the Seine.In a post-credits scene, the Horsemen, driving through a desert, approach a junkyard full of old magician memorabilia, before getting out of their car and slowly beginning to examine the area before coming upon a set of locked crates covered in the symbol of The Eye, but without their playing cards to open them.While Now You See Me may not be a grand slam, it’s still entertaining, thanks to the thrills and visual style of the film. Bottom line, if you’re a fan of the heist genre, you’ll like this movie. For me though, it just lacks a further script rewrite to have become one of the best examples of the genre.