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
2012's Magic Mike wasn't exactly about the stripping. Sure, it features a lot of it, but the real center of the movie was the lifestyle of its main character, Mike. This latest installment showcases more of the crew and how they put up the show. It's more choreography driven than some commentary, which actually made it more appropriate to this material. It still has the stunning style of the first one, though it mostly feels quite forced, but if the movie tries to be itself, then there it actually shines. Magic Mike XXL indeed brings much of what you expect from it.
While the first movie basically shows the art of its aesthetics, this sequel rather shows the art of stripping. The story isn't quite remarkable; it's so simple that it's nothing more than an excuse to show more of these acts, which is both a good thing and otherwise. But really, that's what the target audience really came here for. Just like the first one, it's all atmosphere than following a plot. We just see these characters trying to get along, hint some commentary, and do some stripping. The difference however is the stripping is the real showcase, as in the direction and choreography improves within that aspect which makes these performances speak what this movie is truly about. People would immediately think that this would only appeal female viewers, but even as a straight man as I am, I would actually be impressed by the choreography displayed on those scenes.
The direction does try to keep Soderbergh's style going in this sequel, though only eschewing the intense sepia and welcoming other colors on the daylight. The new style is sometimes indefinite, specifically the vague lighting in some scenes, but then, the movie eventually breaks the pretense once the characters start dancing on screen, having more focus on their moves, and of course, bodies. Star, Channing Tatum, still has the charm as he always has. The other performers also get their characters expanded, staying natural whenever they bond and fight off on screen, treating them beyond than typical eye candy compared to the first one.
Many may call Magic Mike XXL a totally needless sequel or a cash grab for those who seek for more endless dose of shirtless men, but I believe this movie actually exists to make up for its own value. The story may not be as meaty as its predecessor's, but it shows everything what its audiences actually wanted for it. And it is done elegantly, proving that stripping apparently has more to offer than just lust for flesh. It sounds incredibly weird if you say it that way, but looking at these performances seems like this is an art that we didn't see coming. Again, there's nothing remarkable about the story, though if you're curious about the appeal of this career, then it gives a room for fascination.
29 of 46 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this