MAGIC MIKE XXL Review: The 'Hot and Bothered' Rating

The hunks are back with Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello and Adam Rodriguez showing us much more than their tight abs and bodies. This go around, we learn more about the boys, and their aspirations with more character development. Tatum only had that luxury the first time. With a tighter premise in MAGIC MIKE XXL, the boys’ road trip across Florida to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach allows us to see them much more than just eye candy. But really aren’t we women there for the eye candy.

MagicMikeXXL movie JadaPinkett

The addition of Jada Pinkett Smith as a fierce club owner and MC adds fire to the mix. Why isn’t she in more movies? She may be tiny in stature, but she’s big in personality as we saw in the first season of Gotham, and here she brings that same prowess to the big screen. She’s always a joy to watch.  

Plus the ladies (and gay audience) get the benefit of new eye candy of the chocolate flavor with Donald Glover and Stephen “tWitch” Boss added to the cast. “tWitch” may be Tatum’s brother from another mother with their equally skilled dance moves and toned bodies. Those boys can dance and quite seductively. Their dancing scenes were definitely the highlights of MAGIC MIKE XXL, and their strip tease together as mirrored images was mind-blowing. Joe Manganiello’s final dance, with a very lucky female extra to Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer” with lyrics like “I want to f*** you like an animal,” proved quite spectacular as well.

MagicMikeXXL movie ChanningTatum twitch

So why did if feel less satisfying? The first was light on story and heavy on the stripping, while the sequel had equally good dance scenes with Tatum and the newbies, but something was missing. Than while channel surfing the same day MAGIC MIKE XXL opened, Magic Mike was playing on the E! Channel. I recalled how much the film had a dreary sort of feel thanks to Steven Soderbergh’s taste for using yellow filters (i.e. Traffic). MAGIC MIKE XXL benefited from a more natural approach to the cinematography.  

I also realized there was more thong action in the first movie. That’s what was missing from MAGIC MIKE XXL. The main cast did rock thongs in the finale, but throughout the movie, they avoided it except for Michael Strahan from the Kelly and Michael show, whose performance in a golden thong left my fellow female friend and I trying to erase the scene from our brains.

This time the dance sequences were much more acrobatic with the guys upping the ante with lap dances. Tatum, tWitch and Manganiello were flipping women around their bodies whilst in their chairs. It was stripping meets Cirque du Soleil stuff. Seriously! I expected one of the extras to fall on their heads or for someone to take a tumble.

MAGIC MIKE XXL is largely a better movie, but the lack of thong action is the reason for the lower rating on my “hot and bothered” scale. On the regular movie scale, it rated higher. 

MagicMikeXXL movie JoeManganiello

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