Published on June 30th, 2015 | by Simon Maracara0
Magic Mike XXL: May not be bigger but it’s definitively more fun this time
Channing Tatum comes out dancing (and most likely winning) once again in the sequel to the film that solidified his status as a male entertainer in Hollywood back in the year 2012. He and his old crew, including Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello and Kevin Nash, take both the crowd and the audience on a visual assault of all the cheesiness, campiness and debauchery associated with male stripping, not to worry though: it’s still very sexy.
A road-trip movie with professional male strippers sounds like either a comedic B-movie or a high-end gay porn film, and therefore ‘Magic Mike XXL’ (stylized as MMXXL for #hashtags and such) is the perfect mix of both. The film directed by Gregory Jacobs (long time collaborator to Steven Soderbergh, director of the first one and remembered for ‘Erin Brockovich’ and ‘Ocean’s Eleven’), find the guys in a more formulaic plot as opposed of the social exploration of the (mostly dull) struggles of stripping, offered in the first film but with the same outrageousness that helped them raised over $100 millions only in the USA.
It’s the 4th of July weekend of 2015 (coincidental marketing) and Tatum and co. get on “one last ride” to an unspecific convention to relieve past glories as their days of perfect physiques and titillating dance moves might soon be over. Like any other road trip story, the group find a couple of challenges along the way and more than a few mythical creatures to tame (mostly women) before attempting to conquer the Thunderdome of Male Strippers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Having the tone changed gives the characters more room to hang out and have a laugh while dancing on pills to cheesy 90’s music (boy band will remain unnamed in this review for the laughs), and even though is Tatum right at the centre, the movie feels more of an ensemble effort as each guy get his time to “shine” among wild screams and showered by a tsunami of $1 notes.
Yeah, the acting and the scripts are rather plain but that’s the charm of a movie self aware of its intention, when Channing Tatum ends an impromptu routine in his workshop, giggling at his own silliness, he’s also giggling at the filming crew which might be called as bad acting on the spot, but in a way he’s also giggling with the people in the theatre, all of them who showed up for a fun time objectifying the male body and leaving the screen a little more drunk than when they got in.
Might be disappointing that the seriousness left the franchise (franchise as I bet they’ll do a third film in no time) with Matthew McConaughey, or that Jada Pinkett Smith does very little to fill his MC shoes, but Elizabeth Banks and Andie MacDowell bring the much needed sass to round-up the main dish, sometimes overcooked, of abs, crotchs and butts for the entertainment of y’all Queens.
‘Magic Mike XXL’ gets released in Ireland next Friday 3rd July 2015