Magic Mike XXL somewhat makes up for its narrative shortcomings with its male-entertaining exuberance. Magic Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) reunites with the Kings of Tampa—Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello, who nearly earns his own spinoff), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), Tarzan (professional wrestler Kevin “Big Sexy” Nash) and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias)—for one last ride. Unfortunately for the Kings and for audiences, Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas has taken off for Europe. McConaughey’s charm might be missed as much as Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh’s vision.
Five minutes shy of two hours, Magic Mike XXL has several energetic sequences, all involving dancing. Dick’s impromptu convenience store routine and the final blowout at the Male Stripper Convention are the two highlights. Too bad the movie grinds to a halt whenever the Kings stop to talk about their personal lives.
Poor Mike did not quite hit it big after leaving the Kings to create custom-built furniture. At least he gets to replace the absent Brooke with a pretty close facsimile in Amber Heard. The movie does add some fun new strippers at a private Savannah dance club. Still, imagine Flashdance had generated a sequel where a depressed Alex flunks out of dance school finally to take that job at Zanzibar. Just add abs, and you have Magic Mike XXL.
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