Every week, EW will imagine a sequel to a movie that we wish would happen — no matter how unlikely the idea really is.
Let me start off by stating the obvious: Not every film needs a sequel. As Darren Franich poignantly pointed out: “Every big-budget movie Hollywood releases now is not just a movie. It’s also an advertisement for a potential sequel, or spinoff, or alternate-universe prequel-reboot.” Valid point, and in most cases, this is true. However, sometimes a full story simply can’t be told in two hours (theoretically speaking) or less. No matter how much you might have loathed The Dark Knight Rises, you have to admit that it wrapped things up pretty cleanly and gave the audience some sense of closure. That’s a sequel’s purpose — closure. Do they always attain it? Of course not. But for every Grown Ups 2, there’s an Iron Man 3.
That being said, most of the flicks released widely this summer were a bit lackluster. One, however, stood out for me. Has anyone seen Now You See Me? Sure, I was dragged to see a matinee viewing, but I’ll admit it: I was smitten. I don’t know if it was Isla Fisher getting the screen time that she deserves, the so-stupid-it’s-clever plot or the sight of an always-welcome Morgan Freeman, but Now You See Me was a gem that could have an equally special follow-up. Don’t believe me? Let me defend my case.
The surprise hit tells the story of a group of magicians who steal money from naughty people in a 21st-century Robin Hood kind of way. Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent try to catch them while Michael Caine funds their endeavors and Morgan Freeman aims to expose their secrets. Now, big SPOILER ALERT!!! (seriously, this movie is all about twists and turns, so if you haven’t seen it, stop reading) at the end of the flick, our ragtag group of anti-heroes (Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dave Franco) are welcomed into their special magicians’ club by the man who has been giving them directions all along — Mark Ruffalo. Some people might have seen this twist all along, but Ruffalo did a pretty good job playing the straight man exasperated over the magicians’ constant getaways — so much so that I would love to see what his character is up to next.
The film is about a team trying to get into the magician mafia’s inner circle, but how much fun would it be to actually get to see what happens inside said mafia? Who are the power players? What are the rules? What does the carousel lead to?
In my dreams, Now You’ve Seen Me (clever sequel title — I know) would center around these newbie members’ acclimation to the group. They’ve passed the entrance test, but now it’s time to see what they get to do once they’re in The Eye. My vision sees them going back to the streets, evading cops, stealing from rich folks, and helping the everyday man. Daniel will finally hook up with Henley (again). Jack will be promoted so he doesn’t have to be the one who pretends to die, and Merritt will be, well, Merritt. It’ll be like a superhero film except with brains and better costumes. Michael Caine’s Tressler, now destitute because of the gang, gets Freeman’s Bradley out of prison. Together, they decide to enact revenge. Add in Melanie Laurent’s beautiful detective choosing between her work and her love, and we’ve got a movie!
What made Now You See Me so much fun was that it was a great mix of highbrow and lowbrow fare. Oscar winners Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman look to be having a blast while the script is brisk — although, at times, not believable. Now You See Me was by no means a perfect movie, but it sure was a hell of a lot of fun. It didn’t set out to be a tense thriller that challenged your mind; it wanted to entertain and to excite. The film opened up the possibility to explore an entirely different world, one where magic is highly regarded and not made fun of, one in which people still believe in helping other people, and one in which Morgan Freeman wears a fedora.
So does anyone agree with me? Or do you want Now You See Me to make like a magic trick and disappear?