Film: Magic Mike XXL

"What are you? You're not a fireman."

A sequel to the 2012 male-stripper dance hit. This time the boys hit the road to do one final show - a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach.

Magic Mike XXL is full of surprises. Andie MacDowell and Jada Pinkett-Smith are surprisingly good supporting characters, the dialogue is surprisingly weighty in spite of a sparse plot and, the best surprise of all, it’s a sequel that tops the original.

Yes, this is a simpler yet superior film to Magic Mike in every way save for the lack of Matthew McConaughey. However, his absence is used as a springboard for the plot. There’s no dull love interest and no ‘apprentice’ subplot, just a laser focus on the dancers and their journey to South Carolina.

The road-trip format is fully exploited, with every step along the way usefully contributing to the finale while also giving us real insight into the life of entertainers. All this while being an exercise in sheer joy and extravagance.

Simply put, this is what Magic Mike should have been.

Gregory Jacobs | 2015 | IMDB | Wikipedia