The first half an hour of the movie confirmed it’s going to tank big time. NYSM2 basically rides on the same formula that the first part registered its success on, completely ignoring that with a sequel, the audience expects something new.
The story is on a similar plot as the first one – four Horseman trying to expose a corrupt businessman and use their magic as the weapon. One of the Horseman, Henley (Isla Fisher), is replaced with Lula (Lizzy Caplan). While the story has new characters (some of them completely unnecessary like McKinney’s twin brother), new location, and a slightly different setup, it doesn’t come up with anything which we didn’t see in the first part. It is kind of a drag after some time. The new and unnecessary characters are evidently conceptualized poorly. The only interesting part of the entire story was perhaps the sub-plot of Rhodes-Bradley animosity where the writer spent some good time to develop an interesting twist to it.
The movie doesn’t boast of much amazing acting. In spite of big names like Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Mark Ruffalo, the other lead protagonists are way off. Daniel Radcliffe does a decent enough job of a tech prodigy but there was only as much screen time he had.
It is the direction that sank the movie. When you have a very predictable story, all you need is brilliant execution. A dragged illogical sequence of chip stealing from the facility was a kind of final nail in the coffin. Except for some thrilling magic tricks, the movie was executed poorly. The things which worked for the first part were the very things that tanked this one.
Overall, the movie can be given a pass. You won’t be missing anything if you haven’t watched this one.