MAGIC MIKE got great word of mouth during its 2012 theatrical run. I saw it because several friends of mine raved about how entertaining it was. I haven't heard folks talk like that about the sequel. I saw MAGIC MIKE XXL, the follow-up starring Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello and Matthew Bomer. Very likable actors and yummy eye candy strutting their stuff in a surprisingly tame stripper tale. Except for men's dialogue riddled with F-bombs, this is a pretty PG movie with R language.
But...it needed more...butt. Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello and Matthew Bomer star in this light comedy/drama about middle-aged male strippers out for one last night of showbiz glory.
We saw only ONE naked male butt in Magic Mike XXL. We see it briefly in the first five minutes. We saw more man-ass in The Full Monty, Steel Magnolias and episodes of True Blood during its run on HBO.
When you have a same-sex group on the same mission, you watch for the bonding and bickering. This goes for a World War II drama like 1949's Battleground to 2011's Bridesmaids. The guys traveling in a food truck in Magic Mike XXL are friends on a showbiz mission, and boy can they bicker. But the bickering needed better writing. If I wanted to hear constant "What the f**k, dude?," "Motherf***er!," and "F**k it!," I can just walk down the avenue, go to a mall or stand on a subway platform and wait for a train. Tatum and Manganiello can handle comedy quite well. Manganiello, who certainly carbonated lots of hormones when he played the sexy werewolf on True Blood, gets laughs as the overly-macho and well-hung Armenian who's occasionally clueless. Bomer kept up with them in the comedy performance department. Instead of pedestrian dialogue that goes on too long, these actors playing frustrated performers seeking gigs should've been given peppery dialogue like those wisecracking unemployed actresses in Stage Door had. That 1937 comedy/drama starred Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Ann Miller and Eve Arden. Rent it and you'll see what I mean.
If you saw the Magic Mike XXL trailer, Manganiello has a scene in a convenience store where he puts his stripper moves to use on a Pepsi cooler. Magic Mike XXL needed more of that zest. It's a highlight of the movie. Sexy and funny.
Magic Mike XXL. Hot, talented actors try to take if off with a lukewarm sequel script.