July 16, 2015
The first "Magic Mike" film shown three years ago was big hit (My Review). It was probably mainly because of the novelty factor, to have mainstream actors act as male strippers, baring their bodies while dancing lasciviously in front of screaming female audiences. Because of the financial windfall, a sequel was shot and released this year.
This sequel can be summarized in one sentence. Three years after the events in the first film, Mike (Channing Tatum) and his stripper pals make a road trip to a stripper's convention in Myrtle Beach for a final hurrah performance. On that flimsy skeleton, the writers just conveniently placed stopovers at a rowdy strip club run by the sassy Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the nice house of wealthy matron Nancy (Andie Macdowell), aside from the climactic convention itself at the end. The dull conversations between characters along the way led absolutely nowhere.
If the story in first film was already so thin, there was even less story here in the second one. At least in the first film, there was somehow a story of how Mike wanted to end his dancing career by going into a business of his own. There was a subplot about teenager Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and how stripping got him into bad dangerous habits. The absence of Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey (as the owner of Xquisite Strip Club in Tampa) in this sequel was quite noticeable.
I could not really say much about the dance routines, except that they seem to be quite rough for the female customers. The guys were not simply dancing on a stage or giving regular lap dances only. These ladies were being flipped over and around a lot with crotches being shoved into their faces during these dances. For me, these lady patrons actually looked demeaned. Do ladies actually enjoy this type of over-the-top rough and raunchy type of "entertainment" as shown in this film? I would even call those scenes misogynistic.
Channing Tatum's real-life past as a teenage stripper is quite evident although his present age of 35 is quite evident already. Beyond that, there is nothing much else to say about it. Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer fans will be happier since their characters Richie and Ken finally do get to deliver more lines and have longer solo dances here. Adam Rodriguez and Michael Strahan added to the racial mix as Tito and Augustus, respectively. Oldest cast member Kevin Nash was still a very awkward sight to see on that stage.
I guess the reviews about the actors, the dance routines and the film itself may be very different for another reviewer who is more within this film's chosen demographic. For me, I felt this film did not aim to transcend beyond its limited target audience and was merely content with making its old fans happy again with minimal effort. 3/10.