magic mike

Movie Review: Magic Mike XXL

magic mike

Cary, NC — I am an unashamed fan of the first Magic Mike. The film comes from Steven Soderbergh, director of Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s 11-13 and Contagion, and Mike turned out to be much more of a “real” movie than many people expected.

Well-Crafted & Real

The film proved to be a surprisingly well-crafted character study of a guy who just happened to be a male stripper, and it even delved into some dark territory including drug addiction.

But, overall, Magic Mike was fun and featured one of the best performances Matthew McConaughey has given, period.

No Story, But That’s Okay!

Magic Mike XXL actually changes gear from the first one just a little bit, along with switching directors from Soderbergh to his longtime cinematographer, Gregory Jacobs.

Forgoing any traditional structure or conflict, Magic Mike XXL simply follows Mike and his friends on a road trip to Myrtle Beach for a male stripping convention.

Like its predecessor, Magic Mike XXL surprises and proves to be a fun and hilarious road trip flick filled with likable characters played by even more likable actors.

Great Cast

There is a strong 70’s aesthetic to Magic Mike XXL.

As I mentioned, the film is much more interested in its characters than any real story, and there are long stretches where everyone is just hanging out and talking. The good thing, though, is that these characters are interesting and likeable.

All of them feel like real people and not just cartoons, which could have easily been the case. Everyone has their quirks, but they’re all recognizable.

Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Joe Manganiello (True Blood) both stand out with their work, but Manganiello proves to be the film’s secret weapon. His amazing comedic timing and absolute commitment make him walk away with the movie’s biggest laughs.

Channing Tatum is the star, though, and he carries the film on his shoulders with ease. Like Manganiello, Tatum has surprised many (myself included) with his gift for comedy in the last few years. He displays it here as well, but what really stands out is his ability to give a potentially one note character such great heart and soul.

Mike isn’t the most complicated character, but Tatum makes sure he comes across as human.

Simple & Entertaining

I guess what really blows me away about Magic Mike XXL is its simplicity. The movie wants nothing more than to entertain you. If there is a theme to the movie, that’s it.

These guys just want to put on a good show. What’s more is that all of these characters are actually decent people. There is no jerk in the group. It’s so rare that we see a movie where everyone is nice and they just want to do nice things for their friends. It’s refreshing, really.

Great Comedy for the Summer

I greatly enjoyed this movie. I was accompanied by my wife, who also loved it, but I was definitely not the only guy in the audience, and I guarantee that everyone was laughing and enjoying it as well. Magic Mike XXL is a great summer comedy, and I highly recommend bringing some friends along to the theater, guys and gals alike, to sit back and enjoy the ride!


Jordan Hunt covers movies for CaryCitizen. Read more Movie Reviews. Photo from Twitter.