Film Review: Magic Mike XXL

magic mike

2/10
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Cast: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello

In the follow-up to 2012 runaway hit ‘Magic Mike’, we join the remaining Kings of Tampa on a ramshackle roadtrip, with the eventual destination of a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. They convince retired Mike (Tatum) to join them as they engage in a series of bizarre and desultory adventures enroute. The success of Magic Mike was due to a few simple factors: it was fun, it was silly, it was fast-paced, and most importantly, it unashamedly and unreservedly objectified men in the way that women are so often objectified. All the sequel needed to do was stick to this formula, but they wanted to go bigger and better, and ended up with a hot mess.

No one is seeing this film for the storyline, no one is expecting emotional depth, and absolutely no one, ever, wants to watch a male stripper have an existential crisis over their life choices. All the audience wants is abs, abs, and more abs, with a few close-ups of Tatum staring into their eyes like he is going to do bad things to them and they’re going to love it. While the films ambition of ‘equal opportunity objectification’ and focus on the female gaze – a counter to the male gaze theory posited by British feminist Laura Mulvey – is to be encouraged, you may as well save your money, stay home, and watch the trailer on repeat as that’s got most of the good shit in anyway.

Originally published in Crack Magazine

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