By Darlene Donloe
The 2012 hit, Magic Mike, took the world by storm with its innovative and raw story about male strippers. It made Channing Tatum a sex symbol, a household name, a box office giant and a movie star.
Three years later, the follow-up, Magic Mike XXL, out in theaters today, tries to recreate the magic of its predecessor.
Unfortunately, the latest offering is a stripped down (pun intended) version of the first. The story is thin and weak, but female fans probably won’t even realize the absence. They don’t need no stinkin story!
The reason is simple. There are so many hunky, good-looking gyrating, pulsating, sweaty, sexy male hard bodies in this movie – who cares about a story.
Ok, so here it. Magic Mike XXL picks up the story three years later. Mike, who was at the top of his game, has left the life and is now running his own furniture business.
The rest of the Kings of Tampa have their sights on one last hurrah performance at a convention in Myrtle Beach. The gang’s all here. There’s Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Ken ( Matt Bomer), Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello) and Tito (Adam Rodriguez). The crew piles into a yogurt truck and make there way to South Carolina.
Of course along the way shenanigans ensue. These guys welcome any opportunity to dance - even in a convenience store simply to get the clerk to smile. The stop at a gay strip club and show them how its done. They also attend a beach party. At the beach party Mike meets Zoe (Amber Heard). The two make a connection. It’s all about women and dancing, dancing and women. Once on the road they make their way to Jacksonville and Savannah.
Eventually Mike makes it to his old stompin grounds where Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), his old friend and old flame, still reigns. Their friendship is quickly rekindled when Rome shows up to emcee the guy's last blow-out performance. The last dance, featuring all of the guys in individual sets, is sensational. It's wild, raunchy, sexy and, at times, messy. Some of the scenes will leave women with heart palpitations.
The movie is good fun. The dance numbers are on fleek. It’s worth a big bag of popcorn with extra butter!
Magic Mike XXL, directed by Gregory Jacobs, stars Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Jada Pinkett Smith and Gabriel Iglesias. It features Stephen ‘tWitch” Boss, Elizabeth Banks, Amber Heard, Andie McDowell, Donald Glover and Michael Strahan.
Magic Mike XXL (Warner Bros) is Rated R (for strong sexual content, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use. Running time: 1 hr. 55 min.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Magic Mike XXL gets an O (oh, yeah).