It's been three years since Tampa based Mike Lane transitioned from the life of a stripper - his stage name being Magic Mike - to his dream of starting his own custom furniture business, those three years mixed in terms of the goods and bads for him personally. His ex-troupe, the Kings of Tampa, minus who was their boss, Dallas, stop off in Tampa from their current home base in Miami on a road trip to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. As the remaining troupe members are nearing the end of their stripping lives, they, like Mike, who are at an advanced age beyond that of most strippers, they see this convention as their final hurrah in this life. Mike decides to join his old friends on the road trip to this send off. The current troupe members start to have their own dreams about their futures in being with Mike, while Mike has his own envy of his friends in his current life not being everything he hoped it would be. But especially without Dallas at the helm, the troupe members are...Written by
The first thing screenwriter Reid Carolin does is explaining why we won't see Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike XXL (his character died, or went to Asia, or something like that). That's a pity because his character was one of the two things I found interesting in the original Magic Mike. The other thing was Steven Soderbergh's fluid and stylized direction... and we also have to say goodbye to that in the sequel. So, Magic Mike XXL is reduced to be a tedious exploration of the main character's melancholic life and his reasons to return to the stage, which he expresses during "deep" conversations he has with friends and strangers, while they share drugs, alcohol or the simple experience of the road which always seems to offer excuses to take the shirt off and... dance, dance, dance! There isn't too much narrative coherence or dramatic substance... but nobody will see Magic Mike XXL because of its screenplay, but the dances from the male cast. For better or for worse, I can't determine whether the dance numbers are enough to recommend this film to the female (and partially male) audience; but as a drama, I found it monotonous and boring, without offering any insight into a world "exotic" on its surface, but curiously mundane when we find out the fact that it has the same ups and downs, responsibilities and rewards as any other job. Even though with more fireman disguises. That's not true. In fact, the characters have long discussions in which they analyze the possibility of discarding the fireman, policeman or motorcyclist suits in order to offer a purer and more honest experience to the women who go to see the spectacle with an inexhaustible quantity of bills of one dollar. Seemingly, the dancers aren't just pieces of meat, but also therapists, confidants and even spiritual "healers". Or at least, that was Carolin's idea to validate this hollow story whose obvious commercial motivation tends to deflate its philosophical pretensions. On the most conventional cinematographic sense, I found Magic Mike XXL boring and insipid, and I felt it like a waste of time.
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