Cinematic Releases: Magic Mike XXL

Channing Tatum and his merry band of male strippers are back for more sweaty fun.

"Dude. Where'd Matt go? This sucks."
Magic Mike XXL is an extended two hour exercise in how and why most sequels are shameless, meandering ploys that almost never reach the heights of their fairly respected predecessors. This second entry in the Magic Mike "franchise" is a painfully dull road trip movie that barely even scratches the surface of the wit, charisma, and dance sequences that made the first movie an enjoyable character study about a male stripper that's getting out of the business. Without the help of Steven Soderbergh and countless (pointless) stops along the way to Myrtle Beach, Magic Mike XXL is undoubtedly one of the worst movies of the summer so far and taints the comedic highlights that have defined the last couple years of Channing Tatum's burgeoning career. 

Even though these films are geared towards women, the brotherhood shared between the characters is something that can appeal to a male audience. Sadly, with Magic Mike XXL, the chemistry doesn't feel as fresh and the barrage of "I'm not a piece of meat. I'm human" moments get too far out of hand, making the story uninteresting and the characters stagnant. Yes, there are plenty of funny scenes that will have audience members laughing (especially the female demographic), but this movie is overlong, too self aware, and often times notoriously uncomfortable. With ungodly master of ceremony monologues from Jada Pinkett Smith and a ridiculously uninspired performance from Amber Heard, Magic Mike XXL is a far cry from Soderbergh's original film. 

"Anyone seen my lotion?"
Some will look past all the glaring issues with this wooden story. It could be enjoyable if you can accept writers and a directorial jobber that fail while trying to recreate the luster of the first Magic Mike . For me, none of it worked. The lack of any real movement in the story and the definite absence of creativity makes this sequel just another box office blunder that miserably misses all the marks that made the first movie a cross over hit. Magic Mike XXL is boring, overlong, and has not one ounce of the flair that made the original an unmistakable hit. 

Lacking the magic of Soderbergh and numerous key players, this Magic Mike movie is one dry hump short of an absolute bomb. If you're really into naked dudes jamming their crotches in women's faces, you might enjoy the two dance sequences that take place. Other than that, this movie is a Redbox rental that you might feel comfortable watching with your grandmother. So long, Magic Mike. No more sequels are necessary. We've seen it all. No pun intended. 

Alright, I gotta go work on my abs.

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