Magic Mike XXL
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Magic Mike

Proving it’s not just looks, but heart, the effectively packaged but very uneven entertainment delivers a few things that are just darn irresistible.

Let’s get the flaccid story line out of the way because it sure feels the filmmakers do. The male strippers, now stripped of their old boss and young stud superstar (Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer) reunite for a national stripping contest which, if they win, will let them go out with a proverbial bang. Road trip! The standard, barely developed stuff ensues, but does allow for a few memorable sidetrips. I will hereby confess that I may never enter a convenience store again without kind of wishing Joe Manganiello were there, doing his thing. And the ideas of honest male bonding, the beneficial camaraderie of strangers and the endorsement of women’s (of all ages) sexuality are nicely played and pretty hard to resist.

Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Banks and Jada Pickett Smith all find the guys pretty irresistible, too, but their participation is mutually beneficial. While the women in this movie may be seduced, they never lose their dignity or strength dealing with these guys. And new addition Donald Glover handles a short but especially sweet speech about how a man wins when he just listens to a woman beautifully, making the point, but not gunking up the flow of fun.

And yes, there is some real fun here, most of which centers around the dancing which all of the men handle with varying degrees of still enjoyable verve. There is certainly a whole lot of dry humping, which stands in for choreography. But even if watching that isn’t your cup of tea, you will undoubtedly enjoy the real charm all the guys bring, especially Channing Tatum whose always watchable and slyly eloquent work makes this Mike magical indeed.


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