Magic Mike XXL is the sequel to the 2012 film, Magic Mike. This film has Mike (Channing Tatum) come out of his self-retirement to go on a road-trip with his friends, who aim to give one last big performance at the male stripper convention.
Being too young at the time of its release, I have actually not yet seen Magic Mike. I do hear it is a fascinating and nuanced character study of the male entertainer and I am a fan of Steven Soderbergh, so this film, the sequel, certainly had my attention. Now, having seen the film, I can confirm that Magic Mike XXL is in fact a godsend.
"We're male entertainers!" is a line repeated throughout the course of the movie, usually when the group of guys feel anxious or nervous about an upcoming performance. They use it to motivate themselves and remind themselves that they're doing this all for the pleasure and satisfaction of women. That is a vibe that translates throughout the film, and that's an undercurrent that I can honestly get behind.
The film has a lot of love to give to everyone. Especially women. It doesn't matter of the race or what the physical appearance may be. The film's goal, much like the male entertainers themselves, is to give a pleasurable and satisfying experience to the audience just because they deserve it. It's as if the plot itself was designed just to be a fun piece of entertainment, and it certainly succeeds at doing so.
No doubt one of the most interesting qualities of the film is its stakes - or lack thereof. There are no competitors, no race against the clock, no main antagonist. It's just the story of a team who wants to end their male entertainer career with a bang and to give the best damn show possible. It's an admirable feat and the filmmakers pull it off with flying colors.
The film comes to life as the most well-made Step Up movie ever. The filmmakers really have a firm grasp on the tone and identity of the film, so coupled with the raw electric and comedic vibe that director Gregory Jacobs is able to bring to it, the film is able to reach its maximum level of pure entertainment. Soderbergh took on the role of the film's editor and cinematographer this time around, and it's so evidently one of the film's highlights, having some of the most exciting and gorgeous-looking sequences we'll probably see all year.
Magic Mike XXL is undoubtedly one of the best movies of the year so far (per my opinion, of course), so do yourselves a big favor by going out to see it. I don't really support the gender classification of movies, so this comes highly recommended to everyone regardless of gender. It wouldn't be fun to be one of those guys who decline not to see this film because they're still pretty insecure with their sexuality, because those guys are surely the ones who missed out.