Magic Mike XXL

★★½
A repeat of the first movie, with more humor and less plot.
Movie Review #1,014

magic_mike_xxl_ver10

Warner Bros. Pictures
Comedy, Drama, Music
1 hour, 55 minutes
Rated R (strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use)
Released July 1, 2015
Directed by Gregory Jacobs
Written by Reid Carolin
Characters by Reid Carolin
Starring Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Adam Rodriguez, Carrie Anne Hunt, and Crystal Hunt

If you enjoyed the first “Magic Mike”, chances are you’ll enjoy its sequel. I’ll tell you up front, though, what not to expect: do not expect a movie as serious as the first one. “XXL” flips the dark drama that Steven Soderbergh’s penultimate film was onto its head, and turns it into a free-spirited, upbeat comedy. Do expect to have a lot of fun with this movie. I must admit, I had quite some fun. But don’t expect much else.

I have trouble putting my finger on exactly what “Magic Mike XXL” entails. Its plot is very elementary. Like its predecessor, it’s about male strippers. Mike has taken a break from stripping for some time. You might say he’s been handling his wood more directly these days, as he’s been focusing mainly on his construction business. But all of a sudden, he runs into his buddies and they decide they’ll all head down south to Tampa where they all belong. They’re going to compete in a stripper convention there.

By the end, they’ve arrived at the stripper convention, and we no longer see anything but exotic dancing from the likes of men. Though be that as it may, I understand that this is a road movie, and thus it’s the journey that matters more than the destination. But what is there in the journey that we really care all too much about? Aside from hither-and-thither scenes featuring some impressive and, dare I say, incredible dance moves from Channing and the gang, there’s really only one pitstop they make that’s truly worth mentioning here. It involves a few stereotypical Southern Baptist women who start to let loose once Mike and the gang show up. It’s fun and hilarious, and at the end of the day, it’s the handful of scenes like that that make the movie memorable.

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