Summary: Mike (Channing Tatum) has been out of the stripper lifestyle for three years, and while his furniture job is doing well it’s not exactly flourishing. Add that to the fact that he is having some personal problems and it doesn’t take Tarzan (Kevin Nash) and Richie (Joe Manganiello) much to convince him to join them once again for their last hurrah.
It seems like Dallas has left the group for good and now the boys have decided that they will go out with a bang at a stripper convention. But not all are pleased to see Mike return, and some are downright insulted that he wants to ‘freshen up’ their routine for the last performance. With not everything going right though Mike soon finds himself on a road trip that sees him become attracted to Zoe (Amber Heard) while also having to come face to face with a ghost from his past, the powerful but seductive, Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith).
Australian Cinema Release Date: 9th July 2015
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Screenwriter: Reid Carolin
Cast: Elizabeth Banks (Paris), Matt Bomer (Ken), Stephen Boss (Malik), Kimberly Drummond (Caroline), Alison Faulk (White Shadow), Donald Glover (Andre), Raeden Greer (Charlotte), Rhoda Griffis (Julia), Ann Hamilton (Diane), Amber Heard (Zoe), Carrie Anne Hunt (Megan Davidson), Crystal Hunt (Lauren), Gabriel Iglasias (Tobias), Patrick Kearns (Slick Willy), Mary Kraft (Jessica), Andie MacDowell (Nancy Davidson), Joe Manganiello (Big Dick Richie), Jane McNeill (Mae), Kevin Nash (Tarzan), Juan Piedrahita (Salvador), Adam Rodriguez (Tito), Carla Shinall (herself), David Silverman (Scott), Jada Pinkett Smith (Rome), Michael Strahan (Augustus), Channing Tatum (Mike), Vicky Vox (Tori Snatch)
Runtime: 115 mins
OUR MAGIC MIKE XXL REVIEWS & RATINGS:
When the first Magic Mike film was announced way back in 2012 a fear (and much laughter) spread across the film loving world. Channing Tatum was starring in a movie about male strippers, it seemed like it would end up being a storyless excuse to get some male flesh on the screen and would end up being one of the worst films of the year. Yet it proved to be something very different as director Steven Soderbergh made it a gritty film exploring the sex industry and the personal make-up of those involved in it. Now comes Magic Mike XXL the sequel which has a lot less fear revolving around it, but sadly if you are expecting a film like the original you are going to be sorely disappointed because this film has everything wrong with it that people were expecting could have gone wrong with the first film.
Really alarm bells should have been ringing before walking into the cinema. No Steven Soderbergh in charge this time round, instead he acts as cinematographer while Gregory Jacobs (a man with two B-Grade movies on his directional resume), and then the news that neither Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn or Alex Pettyfer were returning either. Then just to add insult to injury Aussie star-on-the-rise Margot Robbie pulled out of her role before shooting began. So why was there such an A-List avoidance of the sequel, because obviously those stars picked up the script and read it.
To be blunt Magic Mike XXL is simply a bunch of music videos with male grinding joined together by a flimsy bus trip that tries in vain to make it seem like the screenwriter didn’t just write lines like “Mike takes his clothes while women throw cash at him.” The screenplay here is lame at best and it seems that both director and screenwriter knew that and instead just tried to do overlong scenes of dialogue in the near-drowning bid to try and give this film some artistic credibility. But the scenes are so long they become boring, the characters so under-developed that become disinteresting while the lack of any sexual chemistry between Mike and his supposed love interest Zoe means the film just fizzles out with no resistance.
In fact the lack of character development in this film is frightening. Screenwriter Reid Carolin (who did funnily enough write the original film) sets up all these interesting little titbits about the various characters but then never fully cashes in on them. I mean come on, a stripper who wants to be a singer, the moment of realization that Mike has danced with Tarzan and didn’t even know he was a Gulf War veteran, both plotlines are a goldmine for a screenwriter but here Carolin just seems to throw them up in casual conversation and then forgets about them.
The weak script here also dangerously lets down the cast. Recently people have been uttering lines like ‘hey maybe Channing Tatum can act’ well here his only worth seems to be to look pouty and take his top off. As a result Tatum comes across looking like a a dumb himbo who has nothing to offer Hollywood at all, it’s like he has flashed back in time and is once again the type of actor who is only hired for his good looks and not his acting ability. Still at least he comes off a little better than the female cast because sadly Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell and Elizabeth Banks are all wasted in their roles and you can only wonder why they agreed to do the film in the first place. The only actress that does get a meaty role is Jada Pinkett Smith whose character of Rome is interesting enough for her own film, especially considering once again the screenwriter here leaves us asking more questions about her than what are answered.
Aside from its soundtrack Magic Mike XXL is a complete let down. Gone are the edginess and the witty script that made the first film so different and instead we are left with a film void of much storyline and just held together by a few dance sequences that aren’t even as impressive as what you would get in a Step Up movie. Avoid, especially if you loved the first one.
Summary: Set in the world of male strippers, Magic Mike is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Channing Tatum in a story inspired by his real life. The film follows Mike as he takes a young dancer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th July, 2012
Australian DVD Release Date: 26th November, 2012
Country: United States
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriter: Reid Corolin
Cast: Daria Badanina (Stephanie), Matt Bomer (Ken), Reid Carolin (Paul), Erica Day (Carla), Kate Easton (Liz), Caitlin Gerard (Kim), Cody Horn (Brooke), Eric Ian (Eric), Gabriel Iglesias (Tobias), Micaela Johnson (Portia), James Martin Kelly (Sal), Riley Keough (Nora), Melissa LeEllen (Sarah), Joe Manganiello (Big Dick Richie), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas), Olivia Munn (Joanna), Kevin Nash (Tarzan), Alex Pettyfer (Adam), Michael Roark (Ryan), Adam Rodriguez (Tito), George A. Sack (George), Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Jennifer Thompson (Penelope), Denise Vasi (Ruby)
Runtime: 110 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Magic Mike’ Review:
Magic Mike became a whipping boy before it even reached the cinema. There wasn’t a comedian or even film-lover who wasn’t cracking jokes about how bad a film that tells the story of Channing Tatum’s life was going to be. But one man has saved this film from becoming a complete joke, that man is director Steven Soderbergh (Haywire, Contagion). With Magic Mike Soderbergh once again shows that no matter what the topic he can make a film look good.
As previously mentioned Magic Mike is a semi-autobiographical look at Channing Tatum’s (21 Jump Street, The Vow) time spent as a stripper. Here Tatum plays Magic Mike the lead star of Dallas’s (Matthew McConaughey – Mud, The Paperboy) crew of strippers that are quickly raking in the big bucks for him.
After meeting him on a worksite Mike introduces Adam (Alex Pettyfer – In Time, Beastly) to the crew and soon he too finds success. But as the dark side of stripping raises his head and Mike finds himself attracted to Adam’s sister, Brooke (Cody Horn – Occupant, Violet & Daisy), Mike wonders if it’s time to start a new career path.
There is no point saying Magic Mike is a terrific film, it’s not as it has some major flaws, but it is still a lot better than the train-wreck many predicted it would be. Soderbegh uses his alternative style of filmmaking to achieve the best effect out of the sometimes dramatic storyline but still the film falters as it relies too heavily on dance scenes to move the story along, and then frustratingly seems to hold back when the storyline begins to delve into some of the more gritty elements.
For example Dallas is set up as a somewhat dangerous guy. There is a brilliant scene where he confronts Mike about his intentions yet when called upon to do so the threats seem to go nowhere which seems completely out of line with Dallas’ character. Likewise the drug-side of the storyline is just skirted on when it really should have been a main focus.
The one thing you can’t fault Magic Mike for however is the acting. Channing Tatum finally steps up and shows that he does have some acting talent to go along with his dancing ability while Cody Horn shows that she is certainly an actress to watch in the future. But the star of Magic Mike is Matthew McConaughey who puts in a blinding dramatic performance (and shows that he is well ripped for a 40-year-old) that shows as a character actor he is certainly back in the game.
Magic Mike isn’t as cheesy as some would have expected. It’s a good watch that you feel could have been even better.