‘Magic Mike XXL’ heats up summer cinemas

By Bob Bloom
I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but “Magic Mike XXL” is what it is: A fantasy for women who want to get excited over sexy and sculpted bodies and wish they were on screen instead of in the theater.
The movie reunites Channing Tatum with his fellow strippers from the first film. Three years have passed, and Tatum’s Mike has left the group and 10.21_ 2774.NEFstarted his own business.
But, his life is unsatisfactory, so when he gets a chance to hook up with his pals again to attend a male stripper convention in Myrtle Beach, he jumps back onto the stage.
Basically, the film is a road movie, depicting the guys’ trip from Florida to Myrtle Beach and the delays and mishaps that nearly keep them from reaching their destination.
The film is a big, huggable bromance, with very little in the way of plotline or character development. But who cares?
It’s the ripped torsos and hard muscles that are the real stars of “Magic Mike XXL.”
The choreography is flashy and sexy, and the dances will make the women — as well as some men, I suspect — in the audience squeal. It is a sexually arousing movie, but done in such a light and fun-filled manner that it is neither prurient nor offensive.
The movie is loud, raunchy and rowdy, and everyone seems to be having a good time.
Therefore, you can’t fault the film for not trying to raise the bar. Like Mike and his pals, all the movie wants to do is entertain and delight. “Magic Mike XXL” works because it has a clear focus of what it is, what it aims to achieve and how to do it.
This is a summer movie for filmgoers who have no interest in superheroes or robots. It’s simple, sexy and, ironically, sexless.
The joy is in the tease, not the culmination of the act.
Sure, it’s pure popcorn — and it knows it. The movie sizzles just enough to heat up your kernels without burning you.

Bloom is a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. His reviews appear at ReelBob (reelbob.com) and The Film Yap (filmyap.com). He also reviews Blu-rays and DVDs. He can be reached by email at bobbloomjc@gmail.com or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Other reviews by Bloom can be found at Rottentomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.


2½ stars out of 4
(R), language, sexual situations, nudity, drug use

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