Gia Says MAGIC MIKE XXL is Both A Pants and Jaw Dropping Party, with a Huge Heart

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FILM REVIEW: MAGIC MIKE XXL

BY GIA DOXEY

 

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“Ladies, ladies, ladies…my queens!” as Jada Pickett Smith’s character calls us. Tell your fellas you’re going out with your girls tonight because Magic Mike XXL is a hump day treat too large, too hard, and far too delicious to stay in.  The Kings of Tampa are back, baby, and they are hotter than ever.

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It has been three long years since Mike (Channing Tatum) departed from the “male entertainment” industry. His furniture business is running on empty, and his love life is non-existent after his girl turned down the big engagement ring. Aww poor thing. It’s about time the body roll master gets back onstage and back with his bros where he belongs!Plus, after a (phony) phone call summoning Mike for a “wake,” it was a done deal he would reunite with the pack and prepare for one final performance of new material before they all throw in the stripping towel for good.

It is a road trip of booze, a Backstreet Boys hit, new stripper names, a truck accident, and two house visits on the way to the 4th of July Myrtle Beach Stripping Convention…and as one can tell by this list, there is actually a great plot in this sequel!Newbie improv vocalist Andre (Donald Glover) and So You Think You Can Dance’s ever-so-talented Stephen “twitch” Boss will rock your world, as well. The boys first hit Jacksonville Beach where Mike meets Zoe (Amber Heard), an annoying hipster girl who is trying to stay away from the pole and make her way to New York.

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Next, they stop in Savannah, Georgia where Mike attempts to rekindle an old flame with powerhouse MC Rome (Jada Pickett Smith) who delivers the best performance of the film. She is sexy, strong, and she accommodates to the wants and needs of her fellow queens. In her very own “country club” style house parties, she reminds us of everyone’s beauty and significance, and she fights for herself.This sequel consists mostly of dancing, but on the way to a new acquaintance’s house, the boys show us their sensitive sides and tell us the history of how and why they all became performers in the first place.Ken (Matt Bomer), for instance, originally wanted to be an actor, so he moved to Florida and worked at Disney World.

As aforementioned, Mike “had a thing” with Rome before he moved to Tampa with Dallas (Ghost of Girlfriends Past, perhaps? A reminiscent crack at Matthew McConaughey’s absence, I believe!). And last but not least, we have Andre, who serenades damsels in distress and describes all men of his occupation as “healers, man!” They see this underground world as not only an opportunity to meet girls, but also as a chance to truly be there for women and give them what they want. All they have to do is listen. Andre claims even if his singing career does take off, he would “probably still do this on the side.”

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They continue their comforting duties as they intrigue the southern belle matriarchs of Savannah, Georgia at the estate a few miles away. Of course Zoe is a guest there (too predictable of a plot point), and Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello) falls for beautiful mother Nancy (Andie MacDowell) of the household. And the answer to the recurring “did you bang it?” question was a rock solid ‘yes.’They finally get to the convention, and there is not a dry eye (or dry anything!) in the house. The routines and movements are shocking in the best ways possible: Richie “gets his bride,” Tarzan (Kevin Nash) paints his beauty, Ken sings, Tito (Adam Rodriguez) takes us to the candy shop, and Mike grinds on his girl in the finale.

The pants drop and so do the jaws.What’s not to like? From intense work out routines, strict diets, and full body waxing, the cast of Magic Mike XXL took extreme physical measures just to make us smile, and we are forever thankful; yet, what I really loved about this movie was the honesty all the characters brought to the stage. Mike was left by the girl he loved, Richie was about to give up on love completely, and Rome refused to let another guy break her heart, no matter how good-looking he is.Everyone gets screwed, but at the end of the day, we all have to dance it out and be thankful for our friends who will always be there.

Thanks for waxing, boys. You truly brought the magic back this 4th of July weekend. My only complaint was that it wasn’t in 3D…God bless America!

 

FINAL WORD:  StarStarStarEmpty Star