Sara O., Here…
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Magic Mike swept summer box offices in 2012 and introduced audiences everywhere to the glory of well-oiled male strippers. Now, first-time director Gregory Jacobs takes on the task of Magic Mike XXL, with Soderberg as cinematographer and film editor, and tries to surpass its $167 million-grossing predecessor.
The sequel picks up three years later as a heartbroken Mike (Channing Tatum) is struggling to keep his new furniture business alive. Under false pretenses, Mike meets up with the Kings of Tampa minus their leader, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), and later decides to join the crew on their career finale: a debaucherous road trip to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, and Gabriel Iglesias all reprise their roles at Big Dick Richie, Ken, Tarzan, Tito, and Tobias, respectively. The men travel through the south making pit stops along the way to revisit a few ghosts of the past as well make some new friends.
Yet, as sequels so often go, the story line just doesn’t hold up. What so surprising about the first movie was most went in just to be entertained and found a decent story line. Not so much with the second. Beyond fulfilling the quest to go out with a bang, there just isn’t a lot of substance. But let’s be honest, who’s actually coming for the story line?
However, what the story lacks is made up with a great cast of new characters including divine club owner Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), crooner Andre (Donald Glover), sassy convention organizer Paris (Elizabeth Banks), southern bell Nancy (Andie MacDowell), and private dancer Augustus (Michael Strahan).
As always, Tatum pulls out all the stops with incredible dance moves and abs. Lots of abs. Joining Tatum in the movie’s most impressive scene is Stephen “tWitch” Boss (who some may know as the DJ on the Ellen Degeneres show). tWitch matches Tatum step for step in a visually pleasing and technically in-depth routine.
So, hot men? Check. Abs? Check. Nudity? Partial. Those that enjoyed the first will be pleased with what the sequel has to offer.
3 out of 5 Stars
– Sara Ortega