What/Why/How Review: Magic Mike XXL

Magic Mike XXL onesheetSometimes all you wanna know is “what is this?”, “why should I see it?” and “how did you like it?” So? Here’s the dish on Magic Mike XXL!

Nutshell: If you’re reading this review?  You know you wanna see it.  And yes, it delivers. It’s not cin-e-mah, but who cares?  Gorgeous choreography and a game cast equal a fun, definitely Rated-R romp. Grade: A-

What: The sequel to Magic Mike (paging Captain Obvious), Magic Mike XXL is exactly what you’d expect from the title; bigger, brasher and definitely bawdier.  They heard the “needz moar dances stuff!!1!!” cries from ladies who saw the first film, and they give it to you.  The Kings of Tampa — with Mike (Channing Tatum) coming back to the fold after three years away — head to Myrtle Beach to participate in a stripper convention.  Seriously.  To paraphrase Jada Pinkett Smith’s character in this film, I hope you ladies are on birth control, because tonight’s gonna be serious.

Why: Because dancing!  Oh who am I kidding; folks who want to see this film are in it for the sexy.  And these guys are definitely sexy.  And they’re definitely up for throwing it in ladies faces…and I mean that literally.  But it’s all in good fun, and everyone in MMXXL is up for the goodtimes.  Also, the choreography is absolutely incredible.  Plus, the soundtrack is bonkers in the best way possible.  And who knew that Matt Bomer has such a lovely voice?  (Note: not all the songs in MMXXL are on this soundtrack; a finale number uses a very popular NIN song…  I’ve said too much.)

And then there’s the supporting cast, including Jada Pinkett Smith as Rome, an A-list DJ/club owner that has some serious swagger, along with some of the best lines in the film. (BTW, her character was written for a male actor, but she blew director Gregory Jacobs & Channing Tatum away.) Amber Heard as Zoe, a young woman who catches Mike’s eye.  Andie MacDowell plays Zoe’s mother Nancy, a woman who’s not afraid to be herself.  Michael Strahan as a stripper named Augustus, doing stuff you’ll never see on Live with Kelly and Michael.  Elizabeth Banks as Paris, a DJ who runs the stripper convention.  And one of my favorite comedians, Gabriel Iglesias as Tobias, who takes over for Matthew McConaughey (who bowed out due to scheduling conflicts) as the Kings’ DJ.  Boom.

How: What did I think?  What do you think?  It was a hoot, from start to finish. The women at the convention/clubs swarm over men like a wave of horny zombies.  The choreography is on-fuckin’-point (can’t emphasize enough how well done these scenes are.  Bravo, Alison Faulk and Teresa Espinosa, for your brilliant work.)

Yes, the dancing is hot.  But the funny, rude, believable bromance between the Kings is the real treat.  Another treat?  The obvious, in-your-face feminism in this film.  The ladies here are doing what they wanna do, be it making it rain, heading out to find themselves, praising other women, or just kicking back and drinking wine while sizing up the considerable…talent across the table from them.  Yeah, it’s definitely men who bring the sizzle in MMXXL, but don’t miss the grrl power in here too.

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