The Problematic Villains of the ‘Now You See Me’ Movie Franchise

I’m taking my girlfriend to see Now You See Me 2 tonight. She loved the first one and is beyond excited for the second. She’s the only person alive who wants to see this opening night. The first one was the definition of middling and did not call for a franchise. It’s the kind of movie you watch on TNT because it came on after Batman Begins and you can’t find the clicker. No one saw it and thought, “I may only be watching this because of my crippling laziness, but you know what? I’d dust the Dorito crumbs off me to pay $15 for a sequel.”

The movie isn’t great but it’s not offensively bad. But I do have one big problem with it: two of the villains in the first movie (and presumably, they’ll remain villains in Part 2) are played by Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.

That’s right. Two of the world’s most beloved actors were cast as bad guys. Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox. Alfie and Nelson Mandela. If they ran a Freeman-Caine presidential ticket, they’d win in a landslide.

Do you realize what kind of heinous shit Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine would have to do to make me root against them in favor of Dave Franco? Off the top of my head: drown multiple puppies. It would have to be the opening scene. Freeman enters an abandoned warehouse to find Caine rolling his sleeves up, filling a metal tub with a hose.

“‘Ello, Morgan. Care to drown dese lil buggahs with me for no reason other than to make people hate us?”

Freeman smirks, looks right at the camera and arches his eyebrow.  “Why Michael…I thought you’d never ask. Toss me a beagle.”

And it would have to be multiple puppies, too. You can’t away with just one. We’d all try to rationalize it. “Well, the puppy probably had it coming, Morgan and Michael wouldn’t do that for no reason….oh wait they’re going for another. I guess they are bad.”

Or maybe you have them sell nuclear launch codes to an enemy of America. They walk out of a McDonald’s, Freeman’s on the phone while Caine giggles. “Hello, Kim Jong Un? It’s Morgan Freeman. Yes, that Morgan Freeman. Do me a favor and check your email, we’ve got a present for you….what’s that….okay, okay, I’ll say it…’get busy living of get busy dying…that’s goddamn right.’ Okay? Okay….bye.”

Or what about having Michael Caine walk into an empty room, saying, “‘Ello, Ah’m Michael Caine. Fuck the troops.” He clears his throat, a little unsure of himself but going through with it anyway. “That’s right. All American servicemen and women are dopes.” He looks off camera. “Do oy really have to say all dis? Can’t you just cast an actor who usually plays bad guys instead? Oy talked to John Malkovich last week and his August is wide open.”

Those are the depths they’ll need to sink to to make me hate these cherished national treasures.

Based on their strategy, here’s who I’m recommending as villains forNow You See Me 3:

  • Tom Hanks
  • Dave Coulier
  • Betty White
  • A hologram of beloved actor Jack Lemmon
  • A golden retriever

Any of those would be less likable than Caine and Freeman. So stop this madness, people who made this marginally entertaining franchise that’s aggravated me way more than it should.


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