Magic Mike XXL (15) | Close-Up Film Review
Dir. Gregory Jacobs, US, 2015, 115 mins
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jada Pinkett Smith, Andie McDowell
This is the perfect film for a girls’ night out/hen night. And I mean girls of all ages from 16 to 60 plus. Good looking guys with rippling muscles, a naughty sense of humour and sexy and sophisticated dancing. It’s a very long way from the simple policeman stripogram in the pub at a birthday party.
If you haven’t seen the first film, it takes a while to get a grip on the characters of the team. Apart from an engaging little scene early on, when Mike gets inspired by the music on the radio to do a few creative moves in his workshop, the first part of the film is a bit dull. Once the guys get into what they do best though, things definitely take a big upturn, as in a sequence where they strut their stuff in a glitzy club owned by Mike’s former flame Rome (Pinkett Smith), which is very lively to put it mildly. That and the film’s finale at a stripper conference are both colourful and startlingly choreographed, as the boys get really sexual with their admirers, without ever taking their knickers off – and get showered with appreciative dollar bills for their pains.
Although the stars are the guys, the women also get a chance to shine, particularly Pinkett Smith, who dominates the screen in her scenes and McDowell, as a frustrated housewife, who seizes her chance with Magic Mike. She’s both funny and rather touching. The members of the audience at that “conference” get their chance too – ordinary looking women, some of whom look like they could be participants in the Jerry Springer show, experiencing a bit of sexy fun and glamour in their lives – and loving it.
The film is very sexual and for some perhaps mildly shocking without actually showing any explicit sex. And in a funny kind of way it’s quite feminist.
Review by Carol Allen