Magic Mike’s Last Dance
Posted on February 10, 2023 at 10:03 amB
|Lowest Recommended Age:||Mature High Schooler|
|MPAA Rating:||Rated R for sexual material and language|
|Date Released to Theaters:||February 10, 2023|
Like the first “Magic Mike” movie, inspired by star Channing Tatum’s experiences as a male stripper (his term), this third in the trilogy begins with his character in financial straits. Mike’s dream in the original was to have a furniture store. With the help of his fellow stripper friends, he achieved that dream. But, we’re told by a narrator who will not be identified until later, the pandemic and economic setbacks have forced him to close down and he is working as a catering bartender. The narrator also provides some history and science about the importance of dance.
But after that, it’s basically a “Step Up”-style fairy tale (the ones after Tatum’s break-through in the grittier, more grounded original). That is probably a more appropriate response to the pandemic and the economic setbacks. None of it makes any sense, but there’s a 15-minute dance number at the end, and guys with their shirts off making a lot of ladies very happy, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
At a fancy fund-raiser, a guest recognizes Mike. “Weren’t you a cop?” she asks, and they both smile remembering that ten years before, he danced at her bachelorette party. She mentions his entertaining “silly dance” to the gala’s host, the about-to-be-divorced and fabulously wealthy Maxandra Medoza (Salma Hayek Pinault), who asks him to stay after the party and give her a dance. “Why are you moving my flowers?” she asks as he moves things around and tests the furniture for its capacity to support what he has in mind. He tests her as well; this movie is very clear about consent, about how important it is and also how erotic.
That “unexpected magical moment” inspires her to bring him to London, where she cancels the successful but old-fashioned play in her theater and tells Mike he is now choreographer of a new strip show. As befits a Cinderella story where she plays both fairy godmother and romantic interest, there is a makeover moment at Liberty of London, arriving in a pumpkin coach, I mean a Rolls. Thankfully, when she brings him to meet her friends, there is no silliness about his not knowing which fork to use or recognize their cultural references. This is not that kind of fairy tale. This is about a realizing a bigger dream than he ever dared to imagine. And that’s a pretty magical moment to enjoy.
Fans of the previous films will enjoy Mike’s Zoom call with some of most beloved characters and a throwback to Mike’s signature song, “Pony.” But you do not need any familiarity with the story to, like the female characters in the film, just sit back and enjoy the show.
Parents should know that this movie is about male strippers and there is a lot of suggestive dancing and some strong language, sexual references and non-explicit situations.
Family discussion: Why was having someone believe in him so important to Mike? What decision would you have made if you were Max?
If you like this, try: the other “Magic Mike” movies and “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” with Dame Judi Dench, based on the true story of a nude show in London.