Getting the band back together. So Mike (Channing Tatum) has moved on with his life and has left the stripping game behind him. He gets the call one night from his former crew, wanting to see if he will join them for one last ride. I know I’m in the minority, but I really think these movies work equally for both men and women, and it is all because they are movies that you can fun have with. For example, regardless of your preferences, you can go to a drag bar and have a good time, solely because of the atmosphere. There is a showmanship that can be appreciated here, and while it is certainly very sexualized, there is something about putting on a show of this extent that I think most will be able to appreciate on some base level, regardless of your gender. It is also just fun to see everybody involved have such a great time, and in that sense, Magic Mike is infectious.
While I did like the first movie for the most part, it is not without its issues. While you have two big positives in Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, two actors who are at major high points in their respective careers, you also have two equally big negatives in the fact that Alex Pettyfer and Olivia Munn have the combined acting talents of a bag of wet dish towels. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it does ultimately affect how often I want to watch it. It is a big deterrent having to deal with these people that I don’t care about, making it one of the ultimate fast forward movies out there. While losing McConaughey for the sequel is disappointing, cutting out Pettyfer and Munn does wonders, helping to cut to the chase for the reason why you’re here: to watch a show come together.
Okay, so the dance scenes are really fun, and I wish I could recommend this on that alone. There is actually a lot less story than in the first one, which may sound like a bad thing, but it’s really not; if you are being honest with yourself, do you really care about Mike’s struggling furniture business? The only problem with Magic Mike XXL is that there is so little story, it really doesn’t give you a whole lot to chew on. It is just this road trip movie with dance scenes, and the story is about as bare as the dancing itself. Is it better than the first one? I’d say probably, but it is really all about the same once you add all the pros and subtract all the cons.
Magic Mike XXL (2015) ***
– Critic for Hire