In a week, month, maybe year of sequels, remakes and reboots, we have another coming down the pipe this week. Channing Tatumn and Joe Manganiello are back to reprise their roles in the sequel to the successful “Magic Mike”. Surprisingly enough I really liked the first film. There was a good story between Mike, The Kid, and Dallas. It really wasn’t a movie that was a two hour strip show. It had a story with well flushed out characters, and was directed phenomenally by Steve Soderbergh. Like any heterosexual male, I had my concerns about watching the first Magic Mike, and those were gone right away. It was a good movie that happened to have stripping in it. Can Magic Mike XXL live up to that same standard? Or will this just be a two hour strip show?
It’s a two hour strip show/buddy road trip comedy. This movie isn’t very good. I really wanted to like it don’t get me wrong, I could see why someone would go into this movie ready to hate it. I however really wanted to like this one, like I did the first one. I just didn’t.
There were some laughs here and there, the funniest being Joe Mangenillo as Big Dick Richie in a gas station, trying to get the clerk to crack a smile while a Backstreet Boys classic “I Want it That Way” plays. That’s the only time I laughed more than a casual courtesy chuckle.
The acting is fine, Channing Tatumn has become a really good actor over the years and I’ve become a fan of his, and this role along with 21 Jump Street really opened people’s eyes to his acting ability. In this he really doesn’t have a lot to work with, other than his jock and a couple good looking women. Kevin Nash as Tarzan is always fun to see considering this man can barley move and he’s still out there killing it.
The best part of the movie for me was Jada Pinkett Smith, who played Rome, Mikes former partner in the stripper game, who now runs her own private strip club. Seeing that world that she’s created to help women escape was neat to see, and her chemistry with Channing Tatumn was off the charts. They just played so well off each other.
Nothing really happens in this one, the Kings of Tampa are going on one last ride and are driving from Tampa to Myrtle Beach, you’re supposed to laugh with them on this ride but you’ll be reaching to at this point. Women will get what they wanted out of this film, most men liked the first Magic Mike, it had a good story, well developed characters and was directed well. While women said there wasn’t enough naked men. This one is the opposite, really no story, directed paint by numbers, and the characters stay on the path they were on.
If anything Mike became more unlikable in this one. He started out doing what he wanted and just threw it away to strip again. That transition didn’t come about organically. In the first one he wanted to make and sell his own hand crafted furniture, he finally made his dream come true, just to throw it away to strip again? Makes little sense to me.
To sum it up, this movie is what we expected the first Magic Mike to be, a two hour strip show. We were surprised when it turned out to be a pretty decent film, this isn’t even that.