Magic Mike XXL

Three years on from the first Magic Mike movie and we are back in the world of male ‘entertainers’ lead by former stripper Channing Tatum. But with Steven Soderbergh stepping down as director and the fact that sequels in general are worse than it’s predecessors, can Mike work his magic on audiences a second time around?

Having left the male stripping world behind, Mike (Tatum) is struggling with his furniture business and his relationship is in tatters. When he’s given the opportunity by his former co-workers to join them for a last hurrah at the Stripping convention he eventually agrees and the scenes is set for a road trip like no other.

This is a distinctively lighter than the previous movie. While Magic Mike, showed the dark side of the male stripping world alongside the excess and girls, its sequel goes for a funnier light-hearted tone. Your opinion of the movie will probably depend on how you feel about the shift in tone as well as how much you enjoy seeing Tatum and friends without clothes.

Believe it or not there is a plot. It’s basically a raunchy road movie as the guys all prepare to say goodbye to this part of their careers for something that may not provide them with much success. This allows the movie to become more of an ensemble this time around with actors like Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello getting more development this time around.

Personally I really enjoyed the film and not just because of what I said about the lack of clothing. It’s actually very funny and the cast seem to revel in making the movie as outrageous as possible. Manganiello probably gets the best scene stealing moment as he perform a hilarious drug-fuelled, routine in a petrol station. There are also some new recruits to fill the space left by Mathew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer. While I initially found Donald Glover’s presence distracting having mainly known him as lovable duffus Troy in Community, he was really good in the role and also gets to show off his musical talents. Jada Pinkett Smith also made a fun appearance as Mike’s former employer/love interest Rome who knows how to put the boys in their place. There’s also some funny cameos by Elizabeth Banks and Andie MacDowell.

As much as I hate saying something maybe a ‘guy’ film or a ‘girl’ film, the film’s marketing shows that the movie is being directed at a mainly female audience, or at least anyone who fancies Tatum. There is a bit more to it than just good-looking guys in the entrainment world (only a bit ;)) but this is a film that knows what it wants to be and who it’s market is. And it will make a sizeable audience very happy.

Rating 4/5 – over the top and ridiculous but also very funny with it

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