By Laurie Coker
A few years back, a friend of mine begged me to take her as my guest to see Magic Mike and I went reluctantly, mostly because I thought it would be stupid, mindless dribble wrapped in sexy six-pack, butt gyrating bows and I was mostly right; however, outstanding performances (most notably by Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey) and a decent enough storyline made Magic Mike a hit, beyond just the dancing. Magic Mike XXL goes forward without McConaughey, and while the men are still super sexy, the story and the dancing fall completely flat.
Leaping forward a few years, after explaining away a few things, like the loss of their MC, the fellows get together for one last hurrah. They climb into a food truck, pick up a new MC (Jada Pinkett Smith) after the interim one (Gabriel Inglesias) suffers an injury when he crashes the truck, and they head to a stripper convention. Here they aim to do little more than give one final performance.
Magic Mike XXL‘s biggest problem, besides a dull, poorly fleshed out plot, lies in the dancing. Rather than rely on actual sexy dancing this time around, we get raunchy. Instead of seeing beautiful abs, fun showmanship, we are privy to boy on girl humping, crotches in faces, and some extremely un-sexy, dirty dancing. Yawn. Yes, the men are hunky, but brainless choreography make them more clownish than classy. The women are just nasty, but I won’t get started there. It seems pathetic older women and other desperate types flock to male dens of ill repute or simply make fools of themselves over the dancers.
The addition of Pinkett Smith does little for the film and cutting out Inglesias (the only really entertaining character) early is a mistake. He’s hilarious. Mike (Tatum) does one decent dance routine in the film’s first few minutes, but even it is pretty silly. I am placing a D in my grade book. These guys should have stayed in retirement.