Two years ago, Now You See Me was a surprise box office hit. During a summer season that is usually dominated by special effects blockbusters, the effects -- and budget -- of Now You See Me were tame by comparison. The movie had a great cast of solid actors, but was without the big names that usually draw people to the theaters. Somehow the film pulled off a magic trick of its own, turning its $75 million budget into over $350 million at the box office. Those sorts of numbers virtually guarantee a sequel, and now we have our first look at the next caper of The Four Horseman.
At not even a full minute long, the teaser gives us next to no info about what the new film is actually about. The Four Horseman will pull off some sort of caper. We really could have guessed that much, even if we hadn’t already known it going in. Still, much like a great illusionist, the trailer gives us plenty to see to distract us from the lack of substance. A nice Morgan Freeman narration to give you a sense of safety and security. Your traditional magician beats, like magically appearing doves and card tricks also make an appearance. All of this builds to what is meant to be the trailer’s big reveal. Daniel Radcliffe joining the film looking about as far from Harry Potter as it is possible to be.

In addition to Freeman, the rest of the cast of the original film will be back as well. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dave Franco are all back as the Horsemen. Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine are also back for more. This likely won’t be the last time we see them all together, either. Lionsgate has already started work on the third movie, so unless this one bombs something fierce, expect to be back here again in a couple of years.

Setting up Daniel Radcliffe as a Vegas magician who can’t so much as a catch a card is actually one of the funnier inside jokes we’ve seen in awhile. How much of that is integral to the plot, or if we’ve now seen the beginning and end of the bit in the trailer, is not clear. It’s probably not a joke that can carry the film, but seeing Radcliffe in a role that both includes magic, but turns it on its head for him, has to be a strange combination of simultaneously breaking and embracing typecasting.

If you had a good time with the first film, this one looks to bring more of the same. Now You See Me 2 will be out next summer.

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