Review: Magic Mike XXL

MMXXL Look, let’s just get this out of the way – Magic Mike XXL is not a good movie, by any stretch of the word “good.” But if you’re going into this film anticipating some sort of cinematic masterpiece, you’re an idiot, so by that mark, it’s basically just living up to expectations. That all said, if you’re really into hunky dudes showing off their washboard abs, then you’re really going to enjoy yourself.

There’s a plot to this film, but it’s just barely even there at all. It’s more of a scenario than a plot. Mike (Channing Tatum), after three years away from the stripping profession, decides to regroup with his bros to road trip from Tampa up to Myrtle Beach for a stripping convention to have “one last ride” or something like that. That’s basically it – that’s the whole plot. There’s not a whole lot in the way of conflict or character development here. It’s really shallow.

That’s not to say that they didn’t try to have some conflict – they just sort of half-assed some subplots for some of the characters and then just… forgot about most of them. Mike starts the film working as a furniture designer, and he seems to be doing okay. He has an employee, and they’re expanding to the point where Mike is considering getting a retail space. Problem is, he can’t afford to get his one employee any health benefits. Also, his girlfriend from the first film (who was played by Olivia Munn) left him after he proposed and she rejected it. Do any of these little plots get resolved? Nope! Not even a little bit; Mike just strips to save his soul instead, I guess. He meets a new girl on his trip, Zoe (Amber Heard), but there’s never anything explicitly romantic that happens between them. They never even kiss, which is actually kind of refreshing to have happen. Zoe’s character is also somewhat implied to be bisexual (she says she’s not currently in a “guy phase”), which is also nice to have in terms of representation.

Tito (Adam Rodriguez) is trying to run a successful food truck business that would sell probiotic frozen yogurt, but doesn’t have the money to really get going; we never see if he’s successful or not. The only subplot that saw resolution was Big Dick Richie’s (Joe Manganiello); he seeks his “glass slipper,” AKA a woman who can handle his big dick, and finds it. Hooray.

The strippers get to their convention, with some hiccups along the way. Their final crew includes Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), one of Mike’s ex-flings, Andre (Donald Glover), and Malik (Stephen Boss). They all strip, get showered in dollar bills, and the movie ends. A happy ending for everyone, I guess.

This movie is stupid and shallow and has zero in terms of any sort of character development, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy myself. If you’re into dudes, this movie is highly entertaining. Besides the final show, there’s a lot along the way to get you giggling. Easily one of my favorite scenes in the film was actually in the first third of it, when Joe Manganiello’s character strips inside of a convenience store for a very plain-looking cashier who they say “looks like she hasn’t smiled in her entire life.” His goal was simply to get her to crack a grin, and he achieved that. It was actually really cute to watch him try in earnest to make her day a little bit better.

That’s probably my favorite thing about this film – it features a lot of exceptionally attractive men just trying to make ladies smile. And not just “conventionally attractive” women either. There’s a whole hell of a lot of body positivity in Magic Mike XXL, in the way that the guys interact with women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. There’s no favoritism towards any end of the spectrum here, and I loved the fact that Rome referred to all of the women as “Queens.”

The primarily female audience that’s going to be seeing this film will have a lot to choose from in terms of good-looking guys, too. You get your “traditionally” attractive men (Tatum and Matt Bomer), your slightly-older men (Manganiello), your manly husky men (Kevin Nash), and hell, even Michael Strahan makes a cameo in some gold booty shorts for you. For the straight guys who are being dragged to this by their girlfriends or wives, unfortunately for you, there’s no titties in this sequel. Not even one. Now, Jada Pinkett Smith and Elizabeth Banks both look stunning in their (albeit brief) appearances, but that’s about it. But maybe you guys can learn a thing or two about how to treat your women by watching it – just sayin’.

The rating I have to give this film is based on the fact that as a movie, it’s just not very good. It’s pretty stupid. But despite being dumb and despite barely having a plot, I still left the film smiling. It’s entertaining, and if you’re planning on seeing Magic Mike XXL, you’re seeing it for the asses and abs and not for a plot, anyway. [easyreview title= "Review of the Film" cat1title="Carrie's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="1.0" overall= false]

[easyreview title= "Review of Channing Tatum’s ass" cat1title="Carrie's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="5.0" overall= false]