Now You See Me 2 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Now You See Me 2 4K Blu-ray ReviewNow You See Me 2 won’t get any points for originality in the title department.  There’s also the absence of one of the Fourth Horseman, Isla Fisher’s character, to explain.  However, what I was at least hoping for here was some fun magic, deception and illusion tricks.  That much the first film managed to provide.  So why can’t the sequel?  That’s what I hope to find out with my first viewing of Lionsgate’s Now You See Me 2 on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.  I’m ready to be deceived and believe in the impossible.  I’ll try not to blink.  Abracadabra!  Poof!  Let the heist begin!

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Now You See Me 2 is under new leadership this time around in the hands of director Jon M. Chu.  He directs from a script written by Ed Solomon.  The feature is a sequel to the 2013 film Now You See Me.  It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.  Like I said up above the only person who really didn’t return here was Isla.  She was pregnant.  Ugh!  So Lizzy Caplan stepped in and took her place as a new Fourth Horseman.  That’s right, baby!  The Four Horsemen are back for a second act.  They are trying to pull off their most impossible heist yet to clear their names in Now You See Me 2.

The Four Horsemen (Eisenberg, Harrelson, Franco, Caplan) return for a second adventure here.  In typical sequel fashion everything’s bigger.  Not only are the tricks larger, but now we’re going around the globe this time out too.  Don’t let that scare you.  I miss Vegas, but Macao is quite nice looking too.  However, I’m going to give you this warning right out of the gate here so take heed.  If you didn’t see the first film DO NOT pass Go and collect two hundred dollars.  Make sure you watch it before proceeding on with Now You See Me 2 here.  You’ve been warned.  Now let’s talk story!

Our story takes place one year after the events in the first film. The Four Horsemen are still on the run and wanted  by the FBI.  Even Mark Ruffalo’s character (you would have to see the first movie to understand this plot point) is under scrutiny.  He is desperately scrambling at every turn  to conceal his real identity from being found out by his FBI peers.  Obviously Lizzy steps in here for Isla and it’s kind of awkwardly explained within, but just know she becomes part of the band, not just a fifth Beatle.  Franco’s character, however, is still presumed dead from where we last left off in the first outing.  So I guess you can say the lineup has been refreshed so to speak.  Moving on….

The Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech company getting ready to put out a revolutionary new cell phone product, the Octa 8.  Things don’t go as planned.  The reason why is something I can’t tell you, but it’s a little more convoluted than originally thought when finally revealed here.  Rest assured, the plot twist is a few layers deep.  I appreciate that.  The Horsemen are threatened into pulling off one of their most impossible heists yet to not only save their hides,  but they have their own ulterior motive in mind.  I’m going to stop you there though as I don’t want to ruin anything for you guys.  The fun of Now You See Me Part 2 is discovering how all of this magically unravels for yourself.

Despite receiving mixed reviews Now You See Me 2 and has gone on to gross over $313 million worldwide.  Rightfully so, in my opinion, the film’s an absolute blast.  I wouldn’t mind a third picture in the franchise if the powers to be green light that.  The thing that’s so cool and special here is everyone, minus Isla, are back for the sequel.  All the story lines are clean and continuous.  Like all the magic and deception on display here you can almost say the filmmakers had a plan.  I fell for it and I loved every goofy, unbelievable minute of it.  Having watched this film three times now before writing this review let me briefly touch upon what’s so great here.

First of all, the performances here are fun and campy.  The actors don’t take themselves too seriously, but they do know how to have fun with their roles.  Woody cracks me up with his lines and shuffles.  Minus Lizzy’s new character, the rest are fleshed out and well developed from the first film.  Second, the subject matter is magic and illusion.  Come on!  How can you not have fun with this?  That’s a rhetorical question despite the many unbelievable sequences on display here.  Even my girlfriend could not answer how they did all their magical acts.  Macao and its neon lights look absolutely stunning in 4K Blu-ray.  It’s the Vegas of China!  So there’s that too.  However, what’s most fun about this outing is its caper action.  There’s plenty of it ranging from market brawls and car/motorcycle chases to deceptive stunts and brilliant manipulations.  This one has it all and best of all, it’s a P-E-R-F-E-C-T family film to enjoy with all.

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The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Now You See Me 2.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: This one’s a weird one.  It’s a bit grainy in the beginning, but once we get to Macao it’s glorious looking most of the time.  The grain in the beginning does soften a few scenes here or there, but nothing to seriously ding this one over.  Other than these minor moments, detail and clarity are impeccable here.  Everything looks perfect from pores, clothing textures and Macao’s chiseled neon lights to tree moss and leaves in the forest where Ruffalo’s character awaits further instructions.  One of the finest looking playgrounds here is the intricacy of everything in the background within Walter’s lavish, apartment habitat.
  • Depth: There are way too many examples of how exceptional the depth of field is within this 4K presentation.  From the vastness of the Octa building to the lengthy Vegas-like streets of Macao the depth in many scenes here seemingly goes on forever.  There’s also that three-dimensional pop of everything going on here to write home about too.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are deep and inky throughout and the scenes that take place at night are stunning.  They are all glorious examples of why I love the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format so much.  There’s this one scene in particular of the Sands casino establishment in Macao shot from across the river at night that’s literally breathtaking in 4K.  You have to see it to believe it!  Things look exceptionally great in London at night too.  Wait to you see Eisenberg’s water tricks.  Wow!
  • Color Reproduction: Here’s where this HDR presentation becomes extra exceptional.  The wide color gamut of the palette here beautifully and accurately renders every onscreen event.  The neon lights of Macao and moments of flame (explosions, fire, etc.) brilliantly pop against this natural looking presentation.  You honestly can’t deny how amazing the colors look once we get to Macao.  You need to check this out.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural and lifelike throughout.  I have zero complaints or nitpicks here.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Besides the light grain I mentioned up above in the very beginning of the film there was never anything else that distracted me from this beautiful looking 4K presentation.

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Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Now You See Me 2.  Lionsgate did not skimp in the audio department here.  Both the 4K UHD disc and the regular 1080p Blu-ray come armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: The dynamics of Now You See Me 2 on 4K Blu-ray painstakingly captures the quietest of crickets chirping to the robustness of explosions rocking the screen.  Like the wide color gamut we just talked about up above, the dynamics of this surround track makes it a real crowd pleaser to say the least.  Throughout the film’s run time the surround mix perfectly balances score and vocals with the effects and action.  I can’t say enough good things here.
  • Height: Examples of Dolby Atmos include the Octa stage show performance, Franco’s flying playing cards at you, plane taking off, fireworks and rain.  It’s not the best representation of the height effect I have heard thus far, but it’s definitely not the worst either.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel rumbles, intensifies and pleases throughout here by delivering the deep bass in the film’s soundtrack, the thuds of punches, explosions, gunshots, motorcycles, etc.  What I love about it most though is all throughout the LFE is always giving a complementary hand to everything on display here.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rears get jolted throughout here littered with attitude, atmosphere, effects, voices, score and high-octane action at times.  The surround presentation manages to make great use of the rear channels as it engages you the viewer and immerses you within the magical experience of it all.  I like!  There aren’t many moments at all when the rear channels aren’t engaged.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The movie’s dialogue was always loud and clear throughout.  I never once had a problem understanding or hearing any spoken word.  That’s always a bonus for me!

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The Now You See Me 2 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features the film in stunning 4K and in 1080p on a separate Blu-ray disc.  It also includes a redemption code for the Digital HD copy redeemable in both iTunes and UltraViolet.  The 4K Ultra HD release will include audio commentary by the director and three equally weighted, behind-the-scenes featurettes looking at the creation of the magic in the film, and discussions with the cast and crew about their work in developing and mastering the magic tricks seen in the film.  All of these extras below are found on the 1080p Blu-ray disc.  Here they are!

  • Audio Commentary – This extra is obviously a selectable audio commentary and it features Director Jon M. Chu.  If you’re a fan of the film, this is a no brainer.  I have fun listening to Jon Chu because you can literally feel his excitement and passion for his craft here.  It’s always interesting to learn how some of these unbelievable scenes were shot.  You know you want all the possible info you can so when you watch it with someone new next you can impress them with your knowledge.   Right?  Absolutely!
  • The Art of the Ensemble (HD, 21:11) – This featurette is obviously about the ensemble cast and basically how everyone was excited to get back together. Don’t forget about the newbies too like Daniel who was equally excited about this project.  The cast all loves him too.  In addition, this one features both the cast and the filmmakers talking about all the fun they have on set.  There’s also a behind-the-scenes look at things on set while filming.  This all makes for a fun extra to partake in.
  • You Can’t Look Away (HD, 17:14) – This featurette is all about showing us why we go to the movies in the first place to prove anything is possible.  John Chu discusses how they decided to bring this film to a grounded reality, which if you know the first film isn’t an easy task.  They also discuss the locations such as the sets, London and Macao in here.  It was cool to learn the tunnel Jesse walks through in the beginning of the film wasn’t actually in NY, but in an underground historic aqueduct under London.  This one is also all about building all that detail into everything you see in this film.  It’s interesting in this to learn where actual sequences were shot.
  • Bringing Magic to Life (HD, 16:09) – If you don’t know from the title what this featurette is all about, I give up.  Ha ha.  This one’s all about the magic tricks on display throughout this film.  You know!  It’s the reason you’re all here!  The filmmakers discuss in detail how it’s so important to film this right to give the audience the live feeling of magic with no strings attached.  The cast and crew also talk about the use of practical effects over CGI for these tricks such as the card throwing in this one.  Even David Copperfield, who serves as a co-producer here, is featured in this one in the development of set pieces and illusions.  David even had a hand in the script development too.  Interesting, huh?  Even funner, the whole cast went through a magic camp to prepare for filming here.  What a life they have!  Mine sucks now that I found out about this.  Ha ha.  I now want to learn the art of card throwing and catching.  Someone teach me!  I love how they also take you from the storyboard art to the animated pre-viz and to the actual onscreen choreography.  Okay!  I’ll shut up now and let you experience these extras for yourselves.

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I said it up above and I’ll say it down here again.  Now You See Me 2 is like a red Sour Patch Kid.  It’s fun and great tasting to digest.  It’s a crime caper complete with magic, action and humor, but best of all…it’s perfect for the entire family.  The PG-13 film never abuses or pushes the boundaries of it’s rating restrictions.  Instead it excels at just providing a no-nonsense, fun time.  If you mildly liked the first film, then you owe it to yourself to check Now You See Me 2 out this September.  This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray package has everything you’re looking for from pristine audio and video to extras to enjoy and a Digital HD copy to take with you everywhere just like a good magic trip.  Experience it all on September 6th!  Hit up the pre-order link down below to start your magical journey.


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified A/V gear found here.  Make sure to check out all out 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Be Prepared To Be Deceived And Fooled

When Now You See Me 2 Tricks

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

September 6th!




Now You See Me 2 4K Blu-ray


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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