We all remember that summer three years ago, when that masterpiece of a movie known as Magic Mike graced… *has to stop writing because he is laughing so hard* I can’t even begin to describe the faults with the stripper movie, yet someone thought it was a good idea to make a second one. So here I am on the first of July jumping into review the latest woman targeted film, which had plenty flocking to the local theater. Gear up my friends, and get set for another wild reviewing ride from yours truly.
As a disclaimer, I’m looking at this movie for quality, not on it’s ability to entertain, two terms many seem to group together. Thus, you can bet that Magic Mike 2’s quality certainly doesn’t bode well in terms of a good film. Once more the plot is slop, a culmination of shallow story writing to act as flimsy support to the sequences of shirtless men dancing in numerous settings. The theme of our tale… SEX masked in the constant iteration that it’s all about respect and living your dream. I applaud their attempt to put other aspects in the film to develop Mike (Channing Tatum) and his crew’s characters, but to me the writers couldn’t figure out what path to take so just hastily pasted them into the script. These tangents did nothing more than waste time, as they conveniently provided opportunities for our strippers to show us their talents, while “helping” out the community in the process.
What made the tangents even worse was the lack of good dialogue to keep me interested or entertained. Many times I expected some kind of romantic banter, or some hot insult that helped sell the “tension” in the group. Instead, the writers fail again, filling our boys mouths with cheesy innuendos, horrible pick up lines, and a bombardment of F words. Glad to see such talent coming our way for future movies. Most of the time the dialog wasn’t funny, and they had Gabriel Iglesias in the film, who can really dish out some memorable quotes. The excuse of this movie wasn’t targeted at being funny is a shallow explanation for two reasons. First, Magic Mike XXL is characterized as a comedy and that usually means laughing. Second what woman doesn’t like to laugh? Instead, the team decided to ditch the fluffy man early in the movie, and open up space for Jada Pinkett Smith, and her lacking story. The acting itself didn’t help either, with only Smith, Tatum, and Donald Glover really doing anything I can consider decent, the former of which still surprises me she agreed to this movie.
You can see there is a lot of bad to this movie, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t address some of the positives present, despite how limited they are. We know most are going to this film for the gorgeous beefcakes lighting up the stage. You’ll be glad to know that Mike and his buddies are back in all their sweaty glory, six packs and all glistening in the lights. Women in my theater were grinding into their seats, making accompanying noises, as the men grinded about the women. The stripper squad will tease female audience members in many ways, some involving syrup, sprinkles, and even stuff at out of 50 shades. Women will scream, giggle, and drool, while men will shake their head, groan is dismay, or like me try to gouge their eyes out. However, past the bumping and grinding, the dance numbers are actually impressive, especially when Tatum busts out his moves and shows some impressive feats of strength. I have to give the design team some props for their creative numbers as well, the choreography quite a spectacle at times when you see the coordination, before it transforms back to light porn. A music soundtrack helps out as well, all of the numbers capturing the mood and going with the setting. Unfortunately most are hip-hop and rap tracks with a focus on guess what… SEX, which has become stale for me at this time.
Overall, Magic Mike is a bumping, grinding, stripper experience that does its job of being eye candy. It’s got moves, it’s got tunes, and it’s got the sexual hard core drive though with a little more finesse. Fans of the first one are going to most likely enjoy this installment, perhaps to the point of a third installment “gracing” the screen. The movie lacks in a lot of things though including story, acting, comedy, and class; plus it could have used some major editing to bring down the time limit. No surprise that I can’t recommend a theater trip for this one, except for those looking for single minded body thrills and gawking at abs the size of a wall. Factoring in everything, my scores are:
Comedy, Drama, Musical: 5.5
Movie Overall: 4.5