Monday, August 31, 2015

'Magic Mike XXL' Offers the Same Stuff from the First Movie

The thing I liked about the first Magic Mike movie is that it wasn’t just an excuse to have a feature-length show of male sexy dances that women can go gaga for (as how it was being promoted).  It has that aspect, of course, but it’s more than that.  It surprisingly has dramatic depth, an actual well-thought plot, and great performances from the cast.  I love how Rotten Tomatoes worded its evaluation of the movie: “[it allows] audiences to have their beefcake and eat it too.”  That perfectly sums it up.

This 2015 sequel, though not as smart, has the same merits as its predecessor.  It has the sensual sequences that will please the ladies, but it also has a strong story and a sincere message (for the record, I don’t subscribe to most of the philosophy that the movie is preaching, but there are interesting lessons worth considering if they are taken away by themselves) to tell.

Three years after “Magic” Mike (Channing Tatum) leaves the stripper lifestyle, he finds himself missing the excitement of performing and hanging out with his Kings of Tampa mates.  Thus, when the guys drop by and inform him that they intend to end their stripping careers in a high note by participating in an annual stripper convention in Myrtle Beach, Mike goes on leave from his furniture business and decides to reunite with the Kings of Tampa crew for one last blow-out performance.

So it’s basically a road trip movie… but with a lot of stripping and dancing involve.  It has a couple of absurd narrative elements and coincidences, but if you can get over the ridiculousness of the idea of a stripper convention – I don’t know if that’s an actual thing in real life – then all other things fall into place of making Magic Mike XXL hold up as an adequately thoughtful piece of entertainment.

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