Magic Mike XXL (2015)
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jada Pinkett Smith, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Amber Heard
Directed By: Gregory Jacobs
Written By: Reid Carolin
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 55 min
Gone is the introspection, and any deeper examination of the world of male entertainers. XXL is all show, no tell. Assembling most of the original Kings of Tampa for one last gig, and bit adieu to their days spent half-naked on the stage, surrounded by screaming women. This follow-up to the much more involved Magic Mike, just wants to spend a little more time with the guys, stage a few performances, and put this mini-franchise to bed.
To be honest, I was a little disappointed with Magic Mike XXL’s lack of ambition. Sure, this cast of characters are fun to spend time with, but this movie was aimless. Jumping from place to place, to meet and greet, never really trying to build on the first film’s themes, or broaden our understanding of these characters. This movie was the equivalent of hanging out with an old buddy to drink a beer and have a nice chat. Nice enough, but no drama. Which can be a refreshing change every now and again, and I loved last year’s Chef for that very reason.
Magic Mike however, makes several half-assed moves towards more dramatic content. Like the chemistry-less romantic angle between Mike (Channing Tatum) and Zoe (Amber Heard). And the dull fence-mending scenes between Mike and the individual members of the Kings of Tampa, due to his abrupt departure from the group in the last film.
These elements as written, packed no punch, and take valuable screen time away from the main reason to see a Magic Mike film. The stage performances. Which, thankfully, are this films only saving grace, and the finale’s collection of shows are funny, silly and in some cases extremely well choreographed and performed.
If you enjoyed the first Magic Mike because it wasn’t a shallow show-all strip show, then like me, you may have some issues with the sequel. If you’re here for the stage show only, then you shouldn’t be disappointment. This movie is rated R for language, drug use and some nudity.
The big finale is fun, but this isn’t a movie that needs to be seen on the big screen. A HD rental to watch on a TV will service this film well enough.
Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello) enters a Mini Mart, and performs for the unhappy cashier. His challenge? To make her smile. The resulting performance and everyone’s reaction to it, is hysterical.
“How much for the Cheetos and the water?”