A rather ordinary road-trip comedy with a male-stripper glossing to the theme, that in the end passed the time with a few laughs amid the mass of mediocre acting and writing.
Feeling his life is in a rut, Mike returns to his group of friends ‘The Kings of Tampa’ for a trip to Myrtle Beach to give one last performance.
This was not a great film but it certainly was not as horrible as many of the critics made it sound. Did I take much from this sequel, no, but it did manage to bring some laughs along the course of the highly simple plot. There were more moments that did not land, but the few that did, were very amusing.
This film had no business being just under two hours, shortening to the common eight-five minutes could have went to great lengths in adding to the enjoyment by removing some of the more forced moments. The dialogue was pedestrian at best, some jokes landed many did not and for the most part the entire story was filled with mumbling sex-related man-babble. The chemistry between the group was good, they sold themselves as all being friends which allowed for some of the comedic moments to land given the characters were dumb but likable.
I have not seen the original so I cannot compare the two, but the script in this one was extremely flat and highly cliche-ridden. The story-line brought nothing to really vest your interest in so by simply watching it for what it is, and hoping some of the moments will deliver some laughter, is about as much as you can ask for from this one. For the females there are some skin-filled dance performances concluded by a third-act performance that tried to deliver enough spectacle to rival the circus. However overall it was lacking what I am sure the female audience came to see, male-strippers performing.
The dance performances in the film were pretty good, and certainly creative but the locations and lighting hindered the final onscreen result. The lack of enjoyment came from the result of a script that can be plug-and-played with any theme you like to fit with whatever intended audience is targeted. For this one you cast a group of men, fill it with cheesy, brainless dialogue and you get “Magic Mike XXL”. Change up the cast, swap the theme to anything you want and suddenly you have a completely different road-trip comedy that is at the time, the exact same.
Much of the cast were simply moving pieces and otherwise worthless to the story-line, just there to fill space. Jada Pinkett Smith was laughable as she tried to pull off the role of a madame of sorts as the owner of a strip-club. It was one of the stronger instances of over-acting that I have seen in some time. Amber Heard was a cardboard character with a generic function in the story as a love interest and nothing more.
Despite the flaws the film was not horrible, but extremely forgettable with the exception of a couple scenes and lines of dialogue that did manage to hit the comedic mark. The dance-performances were fun enough and the soundtrack was fitting. Tatum has been much better in other performances and in the end this sequel just felt like another of those that wanted to pull some more profits from the success of a strong first film. So for those who are fans of these films, stay tuned, an XXXL will most likely not be long away.