The sequel to Magic Mike is undoubtedly far more accessible than the 2012 original – and is one of the most fun films of the summer so far.
It does have a ‘cash in’ feel to it – with a story that is thinner than one of Mike’s G-strings – being more a combination of vignettes than a fleshed-out plotline, but for the most part it works.
And with a hefty helping of humour, and a noteworthy female supporting cast to compliment the obviously ‘abs-tastic’ main attraction for the female audience – it offers more than enough entertainment for the guys too.
After Mike (Channing Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game three years ago – to pursue his bespoke furniture dreams – he gets enticed back after Dallas and ‘The Kid’ leave the rest of the ‘Kings of Tampa’ high and dry.
With their master of ceremonies gone, the ‘Magic’ man joins Big Dick (Joe Manganiello), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Tarzan (former WWE champ Kevin Nash) for potentially their last weekend ever in the industry – and decide to bow out in style by taking a mini road trip to the stripper convention at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach.
Along the way there are several great set-piece moments, including Big Dick’s ‘Cheetos and water’ striptease in front of a gas station cashier, Jada Pinkett Smith’s entrepreneurial ladies’ entertainment venture with main attraction Andre (Donald Glover), and the guys’ interaction in Andie MacDowell’s home full of ‘neglected’ mature women, being some of the highlights.
Mike’s side-story with Amber Heard’s sour-faced ex-pole dancer Zoe doesn’t really ignite – but fortunately the finale really provides a great send-off to a movie that just tries to have fun.
Yep, it’s a little ‘padded out’, doesn’t really have any resolution, and lacks the finesse of Steven Soderbergh’s first film, but as a buddy road comedy it kind of works – being funnier and more ‘care free’ than its predecessor – and Tatum’s Mike doesn’t hog the limelight, with this follow-up giving more time for the supporting cast to shine.
Throw in Tatum’s sensationally choreographed dancing, a great varied soundtrack, and Soderbergh’s (who is editor and cinematographer this time round) sharp editing, then this really does offer an extra large helping of Mike.
And even though 96 per cent of the audience for this film in its opening weekend Stateside was female – it really shouldn’t be such a male repellent.
Ladies, take your fellas with you (brownie points for the lads), as they’ll gain as much from the comedy, as you do from the eye-candy – as this simply can’t help but leave a smile on your face whatever your motive.
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Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Amber Heard, Andie Macdowell, Donald Glover, Gabriel Iglesias & Elizabeth Banks
Running Time: 1 Hr 55 Mins
Director: Gregory Jacobs