I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to talk about the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
I join 1290 CJBK in London and host Ken Eastwood to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know,” the Dolly Parton tribute “Seriously Red,” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to change a lightbulb! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the threequel “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the non rom com “Somebody I Used to Know” and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Your Place or Mine.”
It’s pretty clear that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns left people feeling numb and slightly disconnected. To remedy this, “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” character Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek Pinault) has a plan for a show unlike anything anyone has ever seen. “We’re going to wake up [the audience] with a wave of passion they’ve never felt before,” she purrs. Trouble is, I’ve seen the movie, and I’m still waiting for the wave of passion.
When we first meet wealthy socialite Maxandra she is the soon-to-be-divorced trophy wife to billionaire philanderer Roger Rattigan (Alan Cox). When she meets Mike Lane (Channing Tatum), a former superstar male dancer, now fallen on hard times, she is smitten. Broke and saddled with a failing furniture business, Mike is now bartending in Florida, working for tips.
When Maxandra offers $6000 for a striptease, the resulting acrobatic lap dance changes both their lives. “You gave me this magical moment,” she says, “that made me remember who I really was.”
Seeking to reclaim agency after her husband’s bad behaviour, Maxandra hires Mike to move to London and take over the Rattigan, the old West End theater where she worked as an actress eighteen years before.
“I want every woman that walks into this theatre to feel that a woman can have whatever she wants, whenever she wants,” says Maxandra.
The other movies in the “Magic Mike” franchise were a mix of swivelling hips and social commentary. They essayed the Florida’s real estate bust, the downturned economy, temptation and decadence. Those themes gave the movies some depth, a reason to engage the brain before the clothes came off.
The new one touches on the pandemic as the reason for Mike’s financial woes, but only briefly. The offhand mention feels like a plot device, a throwaway. The grand statements and subtext of the first two films has been watered down into a “Pretty Woman” style rom com, with a side of swivel, about how an upscale Chippendales show can have life altering effects. We’re never really told what those effects are, nor are they particularly obvious, but Maxandra never shuts up about them, so they must be in there somewhere amid the erotic “So You Think You Can Dance” numbers.Tatum brings his trademarked likability to the character and has good chemistry with Hayek Pinault, but overall, the heat has been turned down to a simmer. Abs are exposed, groins are ground but it feels very been-there-done-that. The inspiration that made the first film such an unexpected pleasure is missing, replaced by a tepid story and aimless eroticism.
“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is essentially a Mickey and Judy, “Let’s put on a show” movie, but with more underwear and less enthusiasm.
The first “Magic Mike” was a sexy slithering slice of cinema that was about the dancers, the men who shook their booties for the pleasure of anyone with a few dollars to spare. It was about, as Mike said, “women, money and good times,” but it also told the story behind the glittery G-strings.
As the title suggests, the sequel, “Magic Mike XXL,” is bigger than the first film, but is disappointingly (depending on your point of view) about the dancing, rather than the dancers.
The new movie begins with Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) struggling to make a go of his new furniture business. Out of the male entertainment game for three years, he hasn’t quite left his old life behind. His girlfriend has run off, his one employee is owed big bucks and, in his private moments, he still spontaneously breaks into exotic dance routines. At loose ends, he decides to find solace in stripping, making one last run with his old outfit The Kings of Tampa. “It’s like when Justin came back to Backstreet,” says one of his co-peelers.
His mentor Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) is out of the picture, promoting shows over seas, but that doesn’t stop the well-toned but aging crew (Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez) from doing one last show at a Myrtle Beach stripper convention and earning a “tsunami of dollar bills.”
“Magic Mike XXL” is a road trip through the undergarments… er… the underbelly of the male entertainment business. It skims the surface of the life it portrays, playing like a more revealing “Entourage” bromance. The spiritual journey of the first film has been replaced by a burlesque show with skin-deep depth. It’s a blockbuster with an indie film feel—any slicker and this would be little more than “Showgirls”—but none of the introspection that would make it special. A profound lack of drama or conflict make it feel like a slightly sexier “Road to Bali.”
Having said that, the naturalistic performances and chemistry between the cast is appealing and there is an undeniable appeal to the dirty dancing scenes, but, depending on your point of view, they either make the film worth watching or push the movie into R-rated make-you-blush territory. One thing that can’t be denied is that Channing Tatum could have had a career as a gymnast if the whole acting thing didn’t work out. All of his dance scenes look as though he performing inside a snow globe full of dollar bills thrown by excited onlookers.
As revealing as “Magic Mike XXL” is, it doesn’t give us enough of an inside look at the characters to be really interesting.