Attention Ladies & Gays – Magic Mike XXL is HERE! That’s right, the highly anticipated sequel to the 2012 surprise hit about a group of strippers (sorry male entertainers) making every girl and gay flock to the cinemas for pectoral pleasure, and making their boyfriends feel bad about their bodies. A new director, similar returning cast and a killer soundtrack help propel this film to outshine its predecessor. While the story is lacking, there is a lot of outstanding choreography and shirtless muscle hunks to keep your interest.
Mike (Channing Tatum) has been out of the game for 3 years, he launched his successful furniture business and is getting ready to open a retail space, when his buddies Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Ken (Matt Bomer) who are driving around in a fro-yo truck to get to Myrtle Beach for one last stripper convention together.
Now the story sounds simple and really it is, it is definitely the biggest let down of the film, it is slow and painful to watch as this all too familiar plot stumbles along, the scene transitioning is clunky and poorly paced, but before you start to get too annoyed by it, one of the guys rips their shirts off and starts thrusting and makes you forget all about it until it happens again fifteen minutes later.
What did impress me was the inclusion in this film, girls of all sizes, white women, black women, young women, old women, women of all sizes, the opening scene at a gay bar are all delivered with no flinching and what could be considered an anti-feminist movie, actually achieve the opposite. Jada Pinkett Smith stars as Rome, a figure from Mike’s past who runs her own private entertainment house. She is strong, funny and incredibly sexy as Pinkett-Smith has paved many of her roles in the last few years to be.
The choreography is nothing short of astounding, Tatum affirms his role as king of the moves and this was affirmed by groans of delight from my cinema viewings crowd. His Flashdance/Gene Kelly – esque scene in which he is building furniture and grinding and sparking to his famous Pony song. All of the guys get a shot in the final scene at the convention and guest star Donald Glover does an amazing job of Marry You. Other acting points go to Andie MacDowell for being hilarious and bringing the MILF factor with her scenes. Joe Manganiello delivers as always and this is the first film in a long time for him where he feels more than just a beautiful piece of meat to gawk at. He really has superb comedic timing and a depth to Richie that surprised and impressed.
Overall Magic Mike XXL takes the series in a new direction and delivers more than just man meat, expertly crafted choreography as well as a depth to the character of Mike, see this film soar above the first film. Although the story was predictable and a bit of a weak point for the film, it still managed to score points with its diversity, acceptance and bringing a bunch of A list actors in for some unadulterated fun.
Magic Mike XXL is playing in cinemas now