Don’t let the box office numbers fool ya, Magic Mike XXL really is one of the most fun movies of the summer…for the ladies anyways. I admit, I wasn’t a fan of the original Magic Mike film. I thought the first film featured pretty boring stripper routines, not enough stripper routines and a crappy story line that no one really cared about. I had very little interest in seeing the sequel, but as the reviews started pouring in my interest peaked. One of the biggest criticisms of the first film by myself and many others was that there was a lack of diversity among the strippers and the women in the audience were mostly cute little white girls. It was boring, bland and vanilla stuff
When I saw words like “diversity” and “feminist film” all I could sat was “oh really?” I’d have to try this one out for myself. Spending 2 hours with the sexy Channing Tatum isn’t exactly torture of course so, for a few dollars ( I did see it during matinee) I decided to give this hunk fest a try.
Damn was I glad I took that risk! This is a very rare occasion where a sequel was better than the first film. For starters, it didn’t try to get too deep in to a plot line or a romance. Sadly, the writer still felt Magic Mike needed a completely irrelevant love interest but at least it didn’t consume half of the movie this time. The film felt much more at ease with a more road trip type feel and easy going dialogue that never tries to feel serious, it’s just fun. If you could listen to a bunch of meat head strippers talk, this is most likely what their talks would sound like. There’s been much talk about the poor writing but do critics really think we women went to see this movie for Oscar winning writing material?
Joe Manganiello had more of a lead role as a loud, fast talking and pretty bimboish “male entertainer.” He was hilarious and played the role really well. His side plot line is pretty tongue and cheek. Pour Big Dick Richie is a little too big and needs to find his perfect fit. It’s a fun plot line that’s not meant to be taken seriously at all and is really quite hilarious. His strip scene to The Backstreet Boys I Want it That Way, is one of the best scenes of the entire film.
Jada Pinkett Smith is a badass MC named Rome who owns a male strip castle. I loved that her castle catered almost exclusively to black women. This is where the Magic Mike movies redeemed themselves. There are black women in this castle of all beautiful shades, colors and sizes. A strip scene with Michael Strahan (yup, Michael Strahan. Who knew he had it like that?) was absolutely mind blowing and featured a plus size girl. Donald Glover from community is a cute vocalist who lends a very unique talent to the film. However, a stripper named Malik is simply not seen enough appearing in only a few scenes including the big finale of the film. If there’s a Magic mike 3, I really hope they have a black male stripper scene prominently throughout the film. One Latino is just not nearly enough.
It’s a very feminist oriented movie because Jada’s character teaches the men that it’s not nearly enough to just take off their clothes and throw their crotch in women’s faces. You need to make a woman feel like the queen she really is. That message is pumped throughout the film over and over again which is very welcomed.
Yes, the scenes in this film are raunchier and more sexually explicit. As Rome so boldly points out “Anyone who’s not on birth control needs to find an exit because this is some grown woman shit!” Grown woman shit it is. Many of the scenes feature mind blowing acrobatics and sexual simulations. I can see where these scenes would be extremely shocking for people who’ve never seen this sort of thing before. When I saw this film with a friend there were only 3 other people in the entire theater so it was hard to see if anyone else was as hyped about it as we were.
The final sequence at the stripper convention was more original and fun than I could have ever expected. I thought it was going to be another tired group strip routine, but I was dead wrong. Each stripper in the “Resurrection” troupe (you have to see the film to understand why they have a new name) perform their own separate strip routine with their own themes. As the guys are gearing up for it, it’s almost impossible to figure out what their going to do but I was damn impressed with it when I saw it.
I have seen many people say they’ve been to viewings where young teenage girls were present. Although no “Sex” is shown, during the routines, much is simulated and it is just down right adult. Even if your 14 year-old hormone oozing daughter is a big Channing Tatum fan please, leave her at home!
Over all, there is nothing award-worthy about this film or revolutionary about it. However, it does tap in to exactly what women want in their sexual fantasies and had some fun male bonding scenes. The summer is a great time for light and shameless fun, this movie is the perfect companion for that. Take a bunch of your girlfriends to the theater and go have some raunchy fun!