Magic Mike XXL: Abs-olutely appalling


I recognize that I am not exactly the target audience for Magic Mike XXL. As a straight male, I’m probably the last person the producers want reviewing this movie. Nonetheless I did my duty as any good movie critic would and sat through two hours of men without shirts dancing, rubbing and showing almost everything they have. The entire experience for me can be summed up pretty easily. It really ticked me off.

But it didn’t tick me off for the reason you probably would assume. Sure, male strippers aren’t my favorite movie subject, but I’ve seen The Full Monty and quite frankly I enjoyed it, so I was willing to give Mike and his band of muscle clad meatheads a try. Naturally I set incredibly low standards. As I said; I knew this movie was in no way aimed at me, so I made my plan to judge it not on its likability, but by its cinematic qualities.

Where I went wrong was assuming that this movie would have any cinematic qualities. I can confidently say that this is one of the most technically appalling movies I have ever seen on the big screen.

For starters, the dialogue must have been pieced together using jokes from used gum wrappers. I get that this movie is more about what the characters look like than what they say, but when you resort to lines like “iPhone? More like Bye-phone” and “You bangy? Yeah I bangy!” we have a serious problem on our hands.

The one liners weren’t even that bad when compared to the character structures however. Channing Tatum’s the sexy leader, Joe Manganiello is the rogue right hand man, Matt Bomer’s earthy and cute, Adam Rodrquez is the dumb one, Kevin Nash is the hard-ass who’s surprisingly sensitive and Gabriel Iglesias is the fat guy who reminds you that not all men look like a Ken doll. Together they’re the perfect boy band—great to look at, but terrible to listen too.

The entire supporting cast is just as dry as well. Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover, Elizabeth Banks, even Michael Strahan all somehow found themselves inside this movie, and not a single one of them looked like they belonged. I can only imagine, and somewhat hope that each of them did irreversible damage to their careers. If you willingly agreed to be in this movie, you don’t deserve to work on screen anymore.

Perhaps the most egregious technical problems however came in the form of lighting and cinematography. I can sum up the entire two hour runtime’s cinematic structure in just three words.

Dark crane shots.

In a movie so dedicated to looking, you’d think they would have put more effort into lighting the scenes so they would at the very least be visible. For this fact I say to the movie’s director Gregory Jacobs and the movies cinematographer, Steven Soderbergh, the following.

You two are disgraces to the entire film industry, and a drain on all things good in cinema.

The story you were working with was definitely not good, the concept was been shaky at best, the actors you were provided may have been little more than brainless sacks of walking muscle, but the least you could have done was follow basic film theory and create a technically sound film.

In the end it really just disgusts me how poorly thrown together this movie was, and how thrilled the rest of the people in the theatre seemed to be with it. I could absolutely end this review with a long convoluted metaphor about how this movie is really just a sexist and unrealistic portrayal of men, and that if the same exact movie was made with women and called “Magic Melinda,” all those involved would be vilified, but I truly can’t say I feel like wasting any more of my time talking about this brain-melting movie.

If you want to indulge your most basic animalistic instincts (and you’re too embarrassed to just go to a real strip club) go ahead and waste your money on a twelve dollar ticket to Magic Mike XXL.

If however you have the slightest shred of dignity or even a little bit of a respect for the art form that is filmmaking, by all means skip this movie, forget it ever existed, and refuse to support those involved in any future film venture.