Well well well, here you are trying to get the tea on recently released, Magic Mike XXL. Is it better than the debut film? Where is “The Kid” and Matthew McConaughey? Is there more or less dancing and how does Jada Pinkett Smith play into all of this? Well I’ve got all the answers below.
Storyline vs. Stripping
These two films are undoubtedly opposites. Yes, the same characters (for the most part) are in both films, but each take two completely different routes. The first film had a very subtle storyline that was more centered on the strippers in the film and their performances in Xquisite Strip Club. Almost every scene was about practicing for the club’s next big show in hopes of making enough funds to open a second club in Miami. Less attention was focused on how Mike needed to dance in order to make money for a loan that would help him start his own custom furniture business. His developing love interest with his fellow dancer’s sister, Brooke, got a lot of play as well.
In Magic Mike XXL, the story line is solid. Magic Mike has started his own contracting business which is clearly up and coming as he only has one employee. His home is pretty empty and you get the hint that his relationship with Brooke is over. Mike gets a call from his old friends from Xquisite to find that Dallas and The Kid left the Tampa club for another stripping gig overseas which left Richie, Tito, Ken, Tarzan, and Tobias on their own. They decide to go to the ultimate stripping convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a farewell to the stripping biz. The film takes a “family road trip” vibe as they travel to South Carolina in hopes of renewing their dance routines with their real-life goals. If you thought that any of the above left a lot of time for stripping, you are wrong. The dancing was done well- very well- but there were definitely way less stripping scenes.
Therefore, this all depends on what you wanted out of the movie. If you wanted to see more of a storyline of triumph and brother hood, the sequel is for you. But if you were looking for more arousal, Magic Mike XXL will be more of a disappointment.
Di – ver – si – tay!
As much as I liked the first film, I would’ve loved to see more chocolate on stage. Tito looked good (as always) but other than him, there weren’t any other people of color performing. Thankfully, XXL showed out. Mike seeks advice from an old friend who he knows can help him and his boys re-up for their convention in Myrtle Beach.
They arrive in Savannah, Georgia to a strip club where Mike danced before going to Tampa. Jada Pinkett (better known as Rome in the film) was an old flame who also owned this club (and KILLED HER ROLE BY THE WAY). While the audience in the club was mixed, the strippers were exclusively chocolate. And boy.. did they show out. Which leads me to my next topic …
I’m clearly a Childish Gambino fan so him being in the film is 99.9% of why I was thirsty to see it in the first place. He played Andre, the cute and sexy stripper that wooed the ladies by asking them what they want and simply giving it to them. Andre is an aspiring musician who’d actually keep stripping even if his EP went viral. Andre dances in Rome’s club so he wasn’t in the film as much but he definitely gets a thumbs up from me.
Glover’s adorable smile and sweet presence wooed me in every biased way possible. You can hear him cover Bruno Mar’s Marry Me in the movie here.
Romance.. or ridiculous?
One thing that I can say Magic Mike did well was dive into a complicated and believable love story. But the sequel.. ehhhh, not so much.
As I said before, Brooke, Mike’s previous love interest is long gone. Mike is trying to move forward with his life and hopes that his trip to South Carolina will help him get a start on leaving her behind. After leaving a drag club, he goes to the beach and meets Zoe in the most unconventional way (as he pees.. in the water).
They have this odd conversation and honestly it was the most boring thing in life. Their conversations were the epitome of wittiness done wrong. Whenever Zoe and Mike conversed I was unconvinced and ready to take a nap. The film could have done without Zoe or any love interest at all.
big women in the spotlight
While in the club in Savannah, the first dancer catered to a heavier woman (and by cater to I mean picked up, rubbed on, danced on, etc.). I anticipated something that would indicate a joke or humor at the woman’s sexuality but to my surprise, there was none. They were dancing, yelling, and throwing bills like their smaller counterparts.
The first film didn’t feature many bigger woman having their time to shine so I definitely was impressed to see larger women being taken seriously and not mocked for wanting a little love.