Girls, you owe it to yourself to go see Magic Mike XXL. It’s a movie about a world where the needs and desires of women is a high priority on the minds of men. Men, you owe it to women to go see Magic Mike XXL. It will teach you more about what women want than the Mel Gibson movie ever did. It will show you a world where men treat women, not just as sexual equals, but as capable humans with hopes, fears, and dreams. It will show you a world where these same men treat each other that way.
Men and women, you owe it to yourselves to see Magic Mike XXL, because it’s a hella entertaining movie!
I’ll admit, as a long-time student of story, the story baffles me. There are three acts, but no central conflict, no villain, and no real stakes to speak of. Mike goes on a road trip with his old friends to do a show. They remind each other that they care about each other. They support each others’ dreams. They show women that they deserve love, respect, and passion. The End. (Oh Sorry. …spoiler alert.) And yet, somehow, the show is constantly engaging. The two primary antagonists of the first film are fittingly written out, so that Mike and Co. have no distractions from giving you positive vibes for 2hrs of gyrating silly goodness. It’s more than great. It’s a movie that knows what it is, and pursues it, full tilt!
Normally I’m disappointed when a sequel comes up with a contrived reason for its protagonist to “get back in the game one more time”. Usually, it results in playing against the resolution and message of the first film (see Men in Black II). The first Magic Mike was a good movie. It was an honest movie about the highs and lows of the Male Entertainment Business, and it leaves Mike in a better place than where he starts. It seemed almost unimaginable to have him returning to that life for a sequel as being spun as a positive thing. And yet Channing Tatum is back, dancing like a sexual ninja once again. And Mike is doing it on his own terms this time. And Mike’s terms are life affirming.