Magic Mike XXL is a 2015 comedy drama film directed by Gregory Jacobs and starring Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer. It is a sequel to 2012’s ‘Magic Mike‘ and a more entertaining but weaker experience.
The story is of course my main issue here. It is just not as good as in the first movie. It is definitely more entertaining and it is, I don’t know how to explain it, but filled with some nice pleasant tone to it. It is always charming and always interesting to watch and it is a pretty good time if you want something fun and charming to watch. But fun doesn’t make it particularly good as the story is way too typical and it never has any dramatic heft of meaning previously present. There are a couple of exceptions mainly Mike’s issues which are still well realized and he is again a very well written character and the movie touches upon female dissatisfaction with men when it comes to sex and how they just want to be asked what they want sometimes and how these strippers provide them with just that. That is some interesting theme solidly explored here, but never put to greater use.
But that is all as the rest are just scenes of excitement and fun. However, unlike ‘Magic Mike‘, Magic Mike XXl doesn’t have as many stripping sequences which I appreciated as it went to much more entertaining hanging out and dialogue scenes, but it still has too many stripping at the end with an incredibly disappointing and weak ending that is the biggest problem here. It just ended on a pretty poor and unspectacular note.
The characters are okay. I really missed Brook, Adam and Dallas. All of those absences are really felt and are a big hurdle for the movie. But Mike is still very good and a likable character, well depicted and solidly acted. Bomer’s Ken is emphasized here much more and I did not particularly care for his character and that choice was unfortunate. But Tarzan, Tito and the whole gang are likable and the scenes between them are the highlights. It serves as a fun road trip movie of sorts.
As for the new characters, Rome is interesting and I really liked her character. Although too full of herself, she is still realistic and a great presence and the relationship between her and Mike is interesting. And the other newly added characters are all pretty solid and never a nuisance.
The acting is pretty good. Channing Tatum is even better here and likable while Matt Bomer also did a solid job. But Jada Pinkett Smith is the highlight as she is really good and of course I really liked the inclusion of Elizabeth Banks as I am a big fan of hers and she always delivers.
Unfortunately, Magic Mike XXL is in technical terms a weak movie. The cinematography is really subpar with some pretty bad camera transitions. Also, the scenery is not as glamorous, but the interior settings are. It is a so-so edited film and the music is also not particularly memorable with the direction also being weak. The acting is solid and it works is pure entertainment. And it does have a heart even if the same cannot be said for brain. As for its status in the franchise, it is definitely nowhere near the quality of the first ‘Magic Mike‘ as it isn’t as clever or as charming, but it is also not bad either and is a satisfying sequel.
Magic Mike XXL has fun characters, better pacing, it has a heart and it is more entertaining than its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean it is better as it definitely isn’t thanks to the absence of some major characters and the inclusion of more action instead of more drama and interesting themes. It is a weaker, but an okay sequel nonetheless.