Magic Mike XXL, 2015
Directed by Gregory Jacobs
Starring Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Donald Glover, Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett-Smith
Three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, he and the remaining Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach to put on one last blow-out performance.
Channing Tatum and the boys are back for a second go around in Magic Mike XXL. It’s been three years since we last saw Mike (Channing Tatum) who has since left the stripping world and is hard at work running his own custom furniture business. One day he gets a call from one of his old buddies who gets him to meet up with the old crew who are planning on going up to Myrtle Beach for a stripper convention to put on one last spectacular performance. Along the way they team up with some old friends of Mike’s led by Rome (Jada Pinkett-Smith) who help them out in putting together their final performance.
When the first Magic Mike came out in 2012 it was quite a surprise for me. Not because it was actually good but because of how good it ended up being. It was surprising to see that it was more a character study about a guy trying to get out of a life he was unhappy with and do something he was more passionate about. This time around we get less of a character study and more of road trip film with a lot more energy. While more energy is great and there’s more fun to be had this time around you can definitely feel the presence of director Steven Soderbergh not being behind the camera. Instead, Gregory Jacobs directs and while he does do a pretty decent job he can’t quite live up to what Soderbergh gave us with the first film.
Now with that being said there is still plenty to enjoy here. As far as the story goes there really isn’t one and that’s all right because this film knows who its audience is and puts on the screen what they want to see which is a bunch of good looking guys having fun and taking their clothes off. The majority of those scenes are fun and enjoyable mainly because the cast has great chemistry together and the choreography during the dance sequences are very impressive. There’s also a really great soundtrack with some sexy songs that fit the scenes well and a couple of numbers from cast members including Matt Bomer and Donald Glover.
Just like in the first film the highlight is definitely Channing Tatum, who gets to show off more of his maturing acting skills despite there not being too many scenes where a lot of acting skill are really required. Nonetheless, he and everyone in the cast does a good job in their roles. It was nice to see the other guys in his crew get more to do this time around too. Bomer, Rodriguez, Manganiello and Nash all get a lot more screen time and they get to show off more of the chemistry they had in the first film. There are some nice additions to the cast here that help fill the void of Matthew McConaughey not returning. Jada Pinkett-Smith gives one of her best performances in quite some time, Donald Glover steals every scene he’s in as the smooth talking Andre, and we get great moments from the likes of Elizabeth Banks, Andie McDowell, Stephen “Twitch” Boss and Gabriel Iglesias, who also returns from the first film.
While Magic Mike XXL isn’t quite the surprise that the first film was there is still a lot to enjoy. There’s plenty of good performances, amazing dance sequences and lots of fun to make it worth the watch.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★★★ / Movie: ★★★★