Friday, July 31, 2015

Magic Mike XXL (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“Magic Mike XXL” Takes Off at Tropic
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

How do you produce a movie that will appeal to a really wide audience -- women, gays, and maybe even a few straight guys? Channing Tatum came up with the right formula in “Magic Mike,” a tale set in a male strip joint in Tampa.

So how do you repeat that success?

The answer is “Magic Mike XXL,” the sequel that’s now making audiences drool at the Tropic Cinema.

Think: Chippendales. Male strippers, that is.

Magic Mike (Tatum) is a muscled guy with rock-hard pecs and six-pack abs. He looks great in a G-string. Horny women toss $20 bills at him. Gays feel lust in their … hearts. And the rest of us sit back and enjoy the fun.

In the first film, Mike is dancing at the Xquisite Strip Club just to earn enough money to start his own custom furniture business. It’s owned by a tight-fisted entrepreneur named Dallas (Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey).

In this new take, Mike’s old club crew, the Kings of Tampa, inform him that Dallas has skipped out (McConaughey’s not in this sequel) and the boys want to end their dancing careers with a grand finale, by attending a stripping convention in Myrtle Beach. Mike decides to take a leave from his furniture company to join them.

On the road they find excuses to strip at a place called Mad Mary’s, at a gas station, at a club owned by an old flame (Jada Pinkett Smith), at a mansion filled with middle-aged women (Andie McDowell et al.), and at the convention organized by a sexy blonde (Elizabeth Banks).

In the end, the Kings (Kevin Nash, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodríguez, Joe Manganiello, etc.) make a good showing -- literally.

But ignore all this. You’re not going to buy a ticket just to follow the movie’s road-trip plotline. What you want to see are some incredibly handsome men, led by Channing Tatum, taking it off, a flashy mosaic of abs and pecs and glutes and sweaty skin.

Okay, here it is.

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