How Magical is Mike XXL?

How Magical is Mike XXL?

Lauren PesinMonday,13 July 2015

In Magic Mike XXL, the old gang (minus Dallas played by Matthew McConaughey and the young Alex, played by Alex Pettyfer) reunites to take a road trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for one last time in the stripper spotlight. Their journey takes them on the road to perform at the semi-famous annual adult entertainer convention. I guess it makes sense that there is at least one annual stripper convention.

The male strippers formerly of the “Kings of Tampa,” Magic Mike, Salvador, Tito, Tarzan, Ken, and of course Big Dick Richie get drunk, get naked, and dance their way to Myrtle Beach. Who picked these names?

A few noteworthy additions to the cast include: Jada Pinkett Smith as the sultry Rome, the queen host whose mission is to make all the awkward, ugly, and fat women of the world feel sexy and beautiful. She really looks good in a fedora. Donald Glover is the sweet talking musically talented Andre, Andie MacDowell plays the aging and horny divorcee MILF in need some sexual healing, and Elizabeth Banks is a slutty and sassy show host.

The highlights of Magic Mike XXL include a steamy minimart scene starring the ripped and seriously sexy Joe Manganiello. His hot fiancée Sofia Vergara is about the only woman good looking enough to be worthy of his Greek god-like physique. For real. The southern belles scene driven by the flirty and charming Andie MacDowell is amusing and at moments a bit sad. There is also a visit to a gay bar filled with drag queens. It didn’t really make sense to me. The worst part of Magic Mike XXL involved plot holes, unanswered questions, too many story arcs, and no spicy Dallas. The best of Magic Mike XXL involved dancing, eye candy, and just plain ridiculousness.

Could the plot, cast chemistry, and overarching message of the movie been better crafted? Yes. Did it need to be? No.

Try to keep in mind, Magic Mike movies are about strippers, who take their clothes off (hence strippers), gyrate and wear thong banana hammocks for money. They are one step away from male prostitutes (ok…a half step). I say that with no judgment. I say that to keep a context for people who critique the Magic movies like they should meet the same artistic standards as award-winning masterpieces.

Not all movies require stellar acting, brilliantly woven plots, marvelous special effects, or gorgeous people. Some movies have one or two main goals (for example to blow things up or to make people laugh) and as long as those goals are met, the movie can otherwise suck.

In the case of Magic Mike XXL, I didn’t expect Shindler’s List caliber acting or drama. I expected mostly naked sweaty man muscles gyrating to hip-hop classics. I expected to see the sexy, wild, and wonderful dancing of the one and only Channing Tatum. I also expected a few laughs. My expectations were met. Therefore, I rate Magic Mike XXL as good, a solid 3 out of 5 stars.

You tell me, does Mike still have magic?

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Image Credit: Flickr



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