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Movie Review

Dubious Taste And Good Fun Abound In 'Magic Mike XXL'

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The most interesting thing about Magic Mike XXL was that the audience I saw it with was 90% women and adored it-- but to me, it was fun, but from beginning to end a male fantasy.

Channing Tatum's little band of male strip dancers are rewarded for everything they do with sex and money in good supply, plus whatever they need in room and board, and in one case even a car. And all they do is strip dance and follow through with whatever that leads to-- they are well paid professionals, while the women are principally volunteers. The concept of commitment doesn't appear until almost the end of the movie, near the bit about bondage and domination, in which it is the woman who is chained to the sex swing.

But maybe I just don't know the difference between male and female sex fantasies. And it's all good fun.

Tatum and company are more athletes and acrobats than my concept of dancers, but from ballet to break dancing, they are impressive. One can see what the women are attracted by, especially because they strip to the waist on any occasion (or none at all), though the nudity in Magic Mike XXL is considerably short of graphic. The women they encounter are mostly on the order of Amber Heard and Jada Pinkett Smith, though there is a fair number of the significantly overweight, perhaps to get away from purely masculine fantasy for a bit.

There is almost no story and little character development, though the number of reunions with loves of the past invites things along those lines.

All in all, Magic Mike XXL is a couple hours of genial acrobatics to music, in appropriately dubious taste. I liked it, and the audience loved it.