Magic Mike XXL
Hoyts Melbourne Central - Thursday 09 July 2015, 6:30pm
Running time: 115m
Country: United States
Classification: MA15+ (Strong nudity, sexual references, coarse language and drug use)
Release date: 09/07/15
Cost: $13.50 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 1/10 (ME 0.5/5, DP 0.5/5)
'Magic' Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) is happy running his ugly furniture business (why make beautiful furniture?) but three years after his last 'performance' he just can't resist the urge to meet up one last time with his 'bros' for StripperCon15 (or something like that) at Myrtle Beach. But how will they cope without Dallas there? I know, right; disaster. OMG! Mike wants to redevelop the whole routine to preserve his artistic integrity as a stripper. Yep, really. They reconnect with stripper-queen Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) after the yoghurt truck crashes (yep, really), arrive at the convention in 'randy' Andie MacDowell's ex-husband's convertible Rolls Royce (yep, really) and strip their little hearts out while saving 'photographer of drag queens' Zoe from a life 'on the pole'... and (spoiler alert) that's about the extent of the whole film. Yep, really.
Magic Mike XXL (the unnecessary sequel to Magic Mike and hopefully not the second part in a strip-trilogy) only needed a plot, half-arsed performances and original dialogue to make it a great film. Sadly it lacked all of these and thought that an excess of abs, tear-away stripper pants and sparkly g-strings would make up for it. Mistake. The imagery is less than subtle with squirting water bottles, humping against angle grinders and whipped cream being sprayed provocatively across womens' breasts (I wonder what the symbolism there was) being some of the more hideous sequences. There is a story somewhere here, but the film is so dull I stopped trying to look for it. I could've popped out to the Pancake Parlour, ordered a short stack and returned to the cinema half an hour later without feeling I'd missed anything, though whipped cream on my pancakes could've triggered Magic Mike flashbacks and I may not have been able to return. The acting is beyond poor (surely this isn't the same Channing Tatum that wowed us in Foxcatcher, though it is the same Channing Tatum who bored us to tears in Jupiter Ascending) and it felt like much of the dialogue was made up on the spot. The stripping scenes in the film's explosive climax (see what I did there?) were so cliched they were hilarious (for the wrong reasons) though Rome's long introductions between them destroyed any momentum the film struggled to achieve. But Rome had important things to say to empowered women who could feel like queens by watching men stripped down to their undies and simulating sex while chucking dollar bills at them. Yep, really.
If you like abs, bad acting and misogynists fist-bumping after they'd 'banged' one of their conquests you're probably going to love this; many of the women in our screening were cheering and squealing every time one of the 'actors' took a shirt off. However unless you're on a hen's night (and have consumed a 4-pack of watermelon Breezers) it's best avoided though it's in the running for one of 2015's worst releases. XX-lame. (ME)