I haven’t seen Magic Mike, but of course I was aware of it. You can’t work in a predominantly female office for three years and not be aware of it! It didn’t really appeal to me though, for the main reason that whenever anyone talks about Magic Mike what they’re really talking about is a nearly naked Channing Tatum, and I don’t have any desire to see a nearly naked Channing Tatum. He just looks far too much like a potato to get my blood pumping. However I was kind of intrigued by the level of fuss, so having been assured that Channing Tatum was not the only near naked man to feature in the film, and that it was definitely not necessary to watch Magic Mike first, I agreed to accompany my sister to see Magic Mike XXL.
To be honest I’m not really sure what the plot line for Magic Mike is, if there even is one. I’ve been told that there was more of a plot in Magic Mike XXL but I thought the storyline was pretty rubbish, so I’m assuming they relied purely on the stripping in the first film. In XXL, Mike is running a furniture business but reunites with his old stripping pal so they can perform at a stripping convention as their last hurrah.
Now I had a number of issues with this film, the primary one being that I was bored senseless, which is a pretty big negative for this kind of film. I wasn’t expecting anything deep or meaningful, but I was at least expecting to be entertained. We were so bored that we even considered leaving the cinema half an hour in, but I’m not a quitter and I was promised stripping dammit, so I stuck it out. In hindsight, I really should have left. Considering the only real selling point throughout the entirety of the film was the stripping, to get half an hour in without anyone so much as shedding a sock was quite a disappointment.
Disappointment number two was the music used. Judging by what the characters said in XXL, and from what I’ve heard other people say, the first film was full of lots of cheesy eighties rock music, which would have been right up my alley. However in XXL they went down the R&B/hip hop route (if that’s even what it was), which is the kind of music I absolutely detest. I’m all for the cheesy eighties rock music, and it works waaaaay better as stripping music. Hell, half of it was written with stripping in mind! Just watch any Mötley Crüe video, and you’ll see my point’s well-made. That’s why all eighties rock has got such a strong driving beat. Joe Elliott admitted that Def Leppard wrote Pour Some Sugar On Me purely as something for girls to strip to, so frankly, I’d say the eighties tunes are ideal. Plus I love them, they’re a hell of a lot more fun, and you can boogie in your seat to them.
Then we (finally) got to the stripping itself, and it turns out I’ve drastically misunderstood the male stripping scene. Sorry, but exactly what am I meant to find attractive? The bit where a sweaty man humps some poor girl’s face? Or the bit where they all prance around in sparkly thongs? I just don’t get it. Okay so they’re all muscly and toned, but then they go and sing in a stupid high voice and that ruins everything. There is nothing remotely sexy about a male falsetto unless you’re Matt Bellamy, and even Matt Bellamy struggles to pull it off. The only part I found remotely attractive was when Mike was welding, because he was being all manly and muscly and covered in dirt, and (most importantly) had his face completely covered by a big welding mask because, you know, potato. Not even those biceps could convince me during the rest of the film though. The whole group looked completely ridiculous, and rather desperate. It was kind of sad!
I will admit that I did laugh at Richie’s dancing in the gas station, although if I was the cashier I’d be more than a bit pissed at having to clear up the mess he made, and I still think there’s something almost offensive about wearing a Metallica shirt when you’re dancing to the Backstreet Boys. Call me a music snob if you will, but that doesn’t sit at all well with me (and probably wouldn’t sit too well with Metallica either).
All in all, I just don’t get the fuss. From the sounds of it I probably would have enjoyed the first film more, but I definitely won’t be bothering with it now. I wasn’t surprised that the plot was so terrible if I’m honest, it didn’t exactly seem like the main reason that the cast signed up for the film, but when the stripping is so laughable and off-putting as well the film really isn’t left with very much in terms of substance, or pretty much anything actually. I imagine if I was one of the people who lose their shit over Channing Tatum, I probably would have enjoyed this film a lot more. But I’m not, and I didn’t. I wasn’t exactly expecting to throw myself at the screen like so many of the women I’ve heard talking about it, but I wasn’t expecting it to bore me so much either. It’s the fact that it was so boring that has really annoyed me the most. It’s a film about five mostly naked men, how could they have failed so much at making it entertaining? Surely the potential was there! Overrated is the word I’d use to describe this franchise. Overrated, and disappointing. I for one feel cheated!
See previous Film Review featuring Southpaw.