Starring: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer
Starring: Gregory Jacobs
Three years after Mike left the stripping life behind him and set up his own custom made furniture business he decides to get back to together with the remaining Kings of Tampa and travel to Myrtle Beach for a stripping convention so the guys can bow out with one final all or nothing performance.
After watching Magic Mike a couple of days ago I was pleasantly surprised about how it turned out, you can read my review here. I was eagerly anticipating the second instalment and seeing how the story developed. Straight away I was left slightly disappointed that both Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey hadn’t signed on for the next chapter of Magic Mike’s story. Both were an integral part of the first movie and while they briefly get mentioned in the opening scenes, you never hear about them again.
While I praised Channing Tatum’s performance in the first movie, he seemed to lose all charm and charisma this time around and overall gave quite a bland performance in comparison. With a few main characters missing from the first movie, Jada Pinkett-Smith was chosen to replace Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), who was the emcee to the Kings of Tampa, and for me she was an extremely weird choice. She didn’t seem to fit in with the tone of the movie and hearing her talk was like nails on a chalkboard.
Another critique of this movie was the story was wafer thin and had nothing going for it. The first movie had a lot of character building and each of the central protagonists were moving forward and we as an audience were moving forward with them. Magic Mike XXL however just seemed to pass by without any real end goal and most of the actors just coasted along for an easy payday. While the focus of the movie was the stripping convention taking place over July 4th weekend everything leading up to the convention didn’t matter and it seriously wouldn’t have made a difference if I had skipped the entire middle portion of the movie and came back for the last twenty minutes as nothing meaningful happened that affected the story in any way. My final critique of the movie was it’s ending. The Kings of Tampa’s performance seemed to drag on for what seemed like an eternity and while this was the guys last hoorah and what the movie was building towards this entire time. The performance wasn’t exciting, the dancing was nowhere near the quality I was expecting and the routine went on for around fifteen minutes which by the time Tatum came out as the main event, I just wanted it to end. After the performance, the movie abruptly ended which left everything open and I’m praying a third instalment isn’t round the corner.
While this movie had so many flaws one of the things I can take away as a positive was the performance of Joe Manganiello. He plays Richie and although he was in the first movie, he didn’t get much screen time as all the focus was on Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer, so you don’t really get to find much out about his character. This time round he was given a bit more of a leading role along side Tatum and he does extremely well at providing a good comedic performance. The scene where he is dancing in the gas station is one of the best scenes in the movie and I’m glad he was able to show a bit more of his talents this time round. Another positive aspect of this film was actress Cody Horn who I hated in the first movie was nowhere to be seen. After realising this was the case early on, my mood perked up and regardless how the rest of the movie played out I’ll always have the satisfaction of not having to see her “act”.
Overall, this was a bitter disappointment compared to the first movie. Most of the movie just passed by without anything of worth happening and this is a prime example why Hollywood needs to stop making pointless sequels to movies that make them a bit of cash.