Review: Magic Mike XXL

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Review: Magic Mike XXL

Three years have gone by since his stripping retirement and Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), now a furnishing business owner, is back for one last dance.

When his former stripper mates, the Kings of Tampa, call to check on him, they hardly struggle to convince him to join them for one last show at a Stripper convention. For he not only misses the camaraderie and the stage adrenaline, but his business is not as rewarding as he hoped and the girl who he thought was the one… well, wasn’t quite.

Mike joins his pals on a road trip with stopovers in Jacksonville and Savannah, where the hunks face their fears and their past. Magic Mike XXL sees old and new acquaintances lend a helping hand in their quest to bring back their stripping magic.

The long awaited sequel to Magic Mike is directed by Gregory Jacobs, who was one of the producers of 2012 Magic Mike.

Magic Mike XXL features some of the original Magic Mike cast including Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, Matt Bomer and Kevin Nash.

Fans may be disappointed to find out that Matthew McConaughey is not part of the cast. And McConaughey’s strong character is strongly missed, too. Three ladies try to make up for it, Andie MacDowell, Amber Heard and Jada Pinkett Smith, the latter in a brilliant performance as Rome, a male stripper owner and Mike’s former lover.

Magic Mike, the first one, caught me by surprise, because I actually loved it. So, clearly, I had high expectations when it came to the sequel. Sadly, my high expectations were highly disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the sculpted bodies and the supposedly sexy dancing. But that’s all there was, not a very strong storyline, average dialogue (although I did laugh out loud at how Mike is tricked into joining his mates), and not enough characters’ depth. If I had to, I’d save the soundtrack, which was often on point.

Over all, it felt a bit too much for me. Too dated, too predictable and too toe curlingly cheesy. Besides an impressive supposedly improvised dance where Mike is jumping around in his workroom using electric drills and stools as props, I struggled to appreciate the dollar bill showers and the simulated sex on stage routines. Oh, and don’t get me started on the artificial male bonding – too many “I love you, man” for my taste.

I also don’t think that 15 is an appropriate age rating. There is absolutely no way I would bring my fifteen year old sister to witness this visual stripper’s orgy.

Undisputedly targeting the hen night parties shown on stage, Magic Mike XXL does not feel extra large to me, if anything, it belittles its predecessor. But if erotic male dancers is all you’re into, then you’re in for a treat.

Magic Mike XXL is out in UK cinemas tomorrow, Friday 3rd July 2015.

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