By Jess Fenton
7th July 2015

Believe it or not, ‘Magic Mike’ is actually an independent film. Made for a mere $7 million, "the stripper movie" went on to make $167 million worldwide. Wait a minute - "the stripper movie"? The film I saw was about drugs, sex, betrayal, greed, broken dreams, debauchery etc. While correct, it turns out that the paying audience saw what they wanted to see, and what they wanted to see was strippers. Lots and lots of hot strippers, for a fraction of the price than real life. With ‘Magic Mike XXL’, the filmmakers have more than listened to that paying audience and given them exactly what they want... and little more, despite doubling their budget. No plot, barely a story, all your favourites (minus McConaughey *tear*) and all stripping.


After three years out of the business Mike "Magic" Lane is called back into the fold for "one last ride". After Dallas left the boys high and dry, the remaining five members of the ‘Kings of Tampa’ hit the road for their last annual pilgrimage to the stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. Not so much a plot as a concept at best; this is all you’re going to get. ‘Magic Mike XXL’ is just 115 minutes of jumping from setup to setup of shirtless and/or stripping scenes awash in a sea of painful, witless dialogue. Look, I’m not sure who’s really going to complain about such a film, except anyone with taste who’s looking for an actual movie to see, and not this mess of bodies - but hey, what do I know?

I will give ‘XXL’ this nugget of credit - the dance sequences are incredibly impressive.

I will give ‘XXL’ this nugget of credit - the dance sequences are incredibly impressive. Channing Tatum can dance, this we already knew, but the other four "Kings" can’t, which leaves them to be nothing by eye-candy while Tatum carried the entertainment load all by himself. This is why they’ve recruited two new characters - Ellen’s resident DJ Twitch to share in the dancing and Donald "Childish Gambino" Glover to be the crew’s resident rapper/singer. It pays off, rounding out the performances with incredible choreography and skill.

Naturally this movie will provoke a legion of women to flock to the cinema in numbers not seen since ‘Sex and the City’ hit the big screen, but will it become a critical indy darling to rival its original? Hell no. If you’re looking for quality, find it elsewhere. If you’re looking for quantity (of hot bodies and strippers), then you’ve come to the right place.

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