Magic Mike XXL

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Copyright Warner Brothers 2015
Copyright Warner Brothers 2015

“We’re healers,” one of the male exotic dancers, explains to another in “Magic Mike XXL.”  They’re here to bring a smile to women who have not, through tragically misguided oversight, been worshipped and adored.  They have not been ap-PRE-ciated.  They have not been treated like QUEENS.

No fear.  Men have arrived who want nothing more from life than to worship, adore, and appreciate their queens, and to do so with the power of powerful, rhythmic, body movements that involve arching and thrusting.

The original “Magic Mike,” based very loosely on some of Channing Tatum’s experiences as an exotic dancer, was directed by Steven Soderbergh and had a few things to say about the economy and income inequality between the bumps and the grinds.  This sequel, produced by Soderbergh but directed by Gregory Jacobs (the underrated “Criminal”), is just out for a very good time, and on that, like its characters, it delivers.

As it opens, Mike (Tatum) has the furniture design company he was dreaming of, and it is successful enough to keep him very busy but not successful enough for him to be able to buy insurance for his employee.  Uh-oh, you think.  Sharp tools and no insurance.  There’s going to be some awful accident that will make Mike go back out to raise money a dollar at a time tucked into his g-string.

But no, this is not that movie.  No artificial stress.  It just wants to make you smile.

Mike just misses his friends, and so he decides to join them for one last big road trip, a bro-trip, with adventures along the way and the world championship exotic dancing competition at the end.  There are adventures and many, many opportunities to make women smile along the way, with a few personal problems to resolve, the most pressing finding a woman who is willing to have sex with Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello).  Spoiler alert: he does.

But before that, he has a great scene in a convenience store, doing a dance number to an 90’s pop confection that never goes out of style.  The guys stop off in a southern mansion where ladies old enough to be their mothers drink a lot of wine and reveal that they have just never been properly ap-PRE-ciated.  That problem will be at least temporarily solved.

And Mike visits a lady from his past, played by a smokin’ Jada Pinkett Smith.  She now runs a private club for ladies to be treated like QUEENS.  Will she help them by emceeing their big number at the convention?  Are healers gonna heal?  Are they going to go beyond the Village People typecasting and find dances that express their inner beings and make the ladies smile while so doing?

Yes, yes, and yes.  Gorgeous men dance for your pleasure and bro-out enough that boyfriends will enjoy it, too, especially when they realize that there is a certain fantasy element on a road trip like this one.  No one takes anything too seriously except for having fun and that is exactly what they deliver.

Parents should know that this movie has extremely explicit and crude sexual references and situations, nudity, drinking, drugs, and very strong and crude language.

Family discussion: Why do the guys like to think of themselves as “healers?”  If you created a dance to show your personality, what would it be?

If you like this, try: “Magic Mike” and the “Step Up” movies

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Musical Series/Sequel

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