Channing Tatum and his bunch of merry men are back for another go-round in “Magic Mike XXL.” You’d think that would mean more thongs, more skin and more fun. No such luck.
Here’s five questions for “Magic Mike XXL.”
What’s it about?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If you’re really searching for some sort of plot, it’s about a bunch of buddies rekindling their bromances on a road trip to one last male stripper convention. Yes, a male stripper convention.
I know that the screenplay isn’t the highest priority in a male stripper movie. But come on, at least try to put together a story of some sort.
Who cares about the story! Is there a lot of the hot guys dancing?
Honestly, if “Magic Mike XXL” featured a lot of smooth moves and smooth skin, I could have forgiven the lack of plot. After all, audiences are looking to films like these for pure fun and escapism. But there’s a serious lack of both flash and flesh. There are a few dance teases in the film’s first hour — one by Tatum and the other a hilarious scene with Joe Manganiello seducing a convenience store clerk by dancing to a Backstreet Boys song. Other than that, all we’re given is a bunch of scenes of the guys hanging out. You’d think that male strippers would have some wild times and lots of crazy stories to share, but these guys are amazingly dull.
Even the grand finale at the male stripper convention is a huge letdown. The dancers barely do any bump and grind and show surprisingly little skin. Tatum’s last number features more of the moves we’ve been waiting for, but even then he shares the stage with another dancer. It’s a damn shame because when Channing Tatum shows his moves … whoo boy! That white boy can dance!
Come on, it’s about male strippers. We should be seeing biceps. We should be seeing pecs. We should be seeing flopping appendages shoved in the faces of drunk sorority girls. Instead, we get conversations about employee health care and healing auras. This sequel missed a great opportunity to make fun of itself and the first film’s success. It is one slow, boring mess.
What’s with the DJs and why are they so important?
Do these guys really need to travel with their own DJ? Is this a vital role in warming up an audience of drunk, horny women? Apparently so. Comedian Gabriel Iglesias is back as DJ Tobias, but when he gets injured on the way to the convention, they replace him with Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), an old friend of Magic Mike. Then at the finale, Smith gets more screen time than the dancers. Really? We’ve been waiting two hours for the hot finale and we have to suffer through Smith’s overly long intros? What makes it worse is that she outdoes her terrible overacting in the TV show “Gotham.” She’s just plain horrible in this role.
There are several options when being entertained by a stripper. You can tip them a dollar, get a lap dance or even go to the champagne room if you’re really into them. For “Magic Mike XXL,” I’m talking to the person next to me and waiting hopefully until the shift changes and a better dancer appears.