It's been three years since Tampa based Mike Lane transitioned from the life of a stripper - his stage name being Magic Mike - to his dream of starting his own custom furniture business, those three years mixed in terms of the goods and bads for him personally. His ex-troupe, the Kings of Tampa, minus who was their boss, Dallas, stop off in Tampa from their current home base in Miami on a road trip to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. As the remaining troupe members are nearing the end of their stripping lives, they, like Mike, who are at an advanced age beyond that of most strippers, they see this convention as their final hurrah in this life. Mike decides to join his old friends on the road trip to this send off. The current troupe members start to have their own dreams about their futures in being with Mike, while Mike has his own envy of his friends in his current life not being everything he hoped it would be. But especially without Dallas at the helm, the troupe members are...Written by
Big Dick Richie:
Is this, uh, is this how the whole trip is going to be? You're going to be on this thing the whole time?
Are you kidding? Relax, I've got a bunch of orders just came in. The guys at the shop are just freaking out.
Big Dick Richie:
If you're going to be here, be here, man. Be present.
Okay, I'll be present.
Big Dick Richie:
All right, that's it.
What are you? Yo, what are you doing?
iPhone went bye phone!
Are you serious right now? What am I supposed to do? I should chuck your big ass right off this f***ing truck.
Big Dick Richie:
That's the ...
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The film opens with the mid-1970's Warner Brothers logo. See more »
It's early July. The movies duking it out at the box office include one about a Teddy bear which has come to life and another is about a group of male strippers. The year is 2012. That's right, the original "Ted" and the first "Magic Mike" hit theaters on the same day in late June 2012 and the first weekend in July saw them both going at it in Round 2 of their weekend box office competition. ("Ted" beat "Magic Mike" at the box office each of those first two weekends, and every other weekend that both movies were in theaters.) Almost exactly 3 years later, each movie had a sequel in theaters, but with one big difference. "Ted 2" improved on the quality of its predecessor. "Magic Mike XXL" (R, 1:55) not so much.
Mirroring the time between the two movies hitting theaters, the action in "Magic Mike XXL" takes place three years after the story of that handful of studly strippers leaves off at the end of the 2012 original. Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) is running his own custom furniture business, which was his motivation for leaving the "Kings of Tampa" at the end of the first film. He's living his dream, but without the girl of the same. His budding relationship with Brooke is no longer budding and, to be honest, his business is not exactly bearing a lot of fruit either. Mike decides to take a break from his life to try to rekindle that old Mike magic, and spend some time with his bros, not to so much to share a six pack, as to show off his.
Most of the gang is back for the sequel (the most notable absence being Matthew McConaughey) and there are a few new sets of abs on screen as well. Mike joins the innocent-looking and spiritual Ken (Matt Bomer), sexually frustrated ladies' man Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), mountain of a man Tarzan (Kevin Nash) as well as Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), whose characters aren't, ahem, fleshed out as well, on a road trip to a male stripper's convention in Myrtle Beach. Their transportation at the beginning of the movie is a food truck. (Insert beefcake joke here). By the time they arrive in South Carolina, they're down one teammate, but are cruising along in a much nicer ride.
The guys also make some new friends along the way. In Savannah, they entertain a small group of rich southern women, including Nancy (Andie MacDowell), who happens to be the mother of some girls they met at the beach. Earlier, one of guys accepts a challenge to dance for an apparently humorless convenience store clerk in an attempt to make her smile, and they all dance at the private club of one of Mike's old, ahem, acquaintances, the confident, flamboyant emcee, Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), in her private club for women, where they meet her performers, who may be familiar to fans of morning talk shows, quirky NBC sitcoms and freestyle hip-hop dancing (Michael Strahan, Donald Glover and Stephen "tWitch" Boss, respectively). Lastly, they gain a groupie of sorts in the person of a young female drifter named Zoe (Amber Heard), whose self-chosen nickname is too risqué for me to use in this review.
"Magic Mike XXL", despite its name, can be described in two words: not enough. There is a basic plot, but it's not enough. The story of the guys heading to a male stripper convention feels like just an excuse to put them in various situations where they can dance and act sexy. (If anyone reading this is tempted to remind me that that's what this movie is supposed to be about, I'd like to say that the first film had an actual plot, and a pretty well-constructed one at that.) The rapport and the banter among the guys and between Mike and Zoe is occasionally entertaining, but not enough of the time. The dancing (especially with the big buildup to Myrtle Beach) and the amount of skin on display is well, you get the idea. I can't imagine this movie really satisfying the target audience, much less the casual movie goer. "C-"
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