If you can’t handle the heat of ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ well then get out of the movie theater. The new star-studded sequel hits theaters July 1, but will it live up to the hype of the first? Here’s what the critics are saying.
While Steven Soderbergh is not directing this one, Magic Mike XXL brings a lot to the screen that it didn’t last time. While Matthew McConaughey isn’t in the film, you can expect to see Jada Pinkett-Smith and (my favorite) Donald Glover. So, will Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello‘s abs get you to the theater?
Trading the “A Star Is Born” angle for a rambling road-trip format, Magic Mike XXL offers creative dance numbers for demos underserved by the original — post-menopausal divorcees, women of color and, in one odd scene, gay fans open to seeing these hunks in drag — but seems unlikely to measure up to its predecessor’s $113 million score.
Magic Mike XXL is ridiculously entertaining. Living up to the extra-extra-large claim of its title, this follow-up to Steven Soderbergh‘s rambunctious look at working class dudes making some often moist and wrinkled extra bills as male strippers produces good vibes right out of the box and keeps it up for nearly two hours. Brawny and big-hearted, it’s a sequel that might well take in even more than the 2012 original’s $113.7 million domestic gross based on an intrinsic appeal that may reach further than its prime target of female and gay audiences.
The movie does get better as it goes along because the characters are fun to watch, and each of the guys gets their own moment like Joe Manganiello dancing in a convenience store to entertain a bored cashier and Donald Glover (from “Community”) getting to show off his singing chops (which fans of Childish Gambino will already be well aware of). But the story never rises above its simplistic premise, and as one expects, it all leads up to the Kings doing another elaborate dance routine showcasing each of their assets (and asses).
There’s one moment when the movie comes alive, in its goofy way; it’s when Mike is in his workshop, brooding about the possibility of hitting the road again, and he improvises a little dance routine around his saws, his drills and workbench. It’s silly, but there is some flair, mostly because it’s not weighed down with mock-sexiness and the need to patronize women with naughty-but-nice pelvic thrusting. Tatum is a really good dancer. This film has no rhythm.
Are you going to see Magic Mike XXL? It hits theaters Wednesday, July 1!
— Emily Longeretta