Channing Tatum was already a star when the first “Magic Mike” film was released, but this charmingly wild stripper comedy-drama put Tatum into the movie star stratosphere. Many fans already knew Tatum as a talented actor who could play comedy or drama, but few knew he had a real history as a strip dancer. His onstage presence and talent as a dancer put “Magic Mike” over the top, and the success of that film left audiences clamoring for more.
Now comes the sequel, “Magic Mike XXL,” which is produced by Steve Soderbergh (who directed the first film) and directed by Gregory Jacobs (who was assistant director on “Magic Mike). This film has a lighter tone than the original “Magic Mike,” and it packs in plenty of stripper numbers that are fun and not a little bit wild. Fans of Channing Tatum and his handsome gang of stripper pals will not be disappointed. The plot of this Magic Mike involves Mike being coaxed out of retirement by his stripper buddies.
Along the way to the convention, Mike and the gang run into many interesting female characters, which is a good excuse to bring in some strong actresses. The female stars here include Jada Pinkette Smith as a nightclub owner and Andi MacDowell as a frustrated wife who takes up with one of the stripper guys.
Former teen soap star Crystal Hunt also makes a strong appearance in this film as an eccentric young blonde the guys meet in their travels. Hunt, who is soon to appear in the “Queens of Drama” series on the Pop TV Network, has great presence here, which bodes well for her future in major motion pictures.
There’s no question that “Magic Mike XXL” comes through as a compelling comedy with highly entertaining dance numbers. Fans of male stripping and of Channing Tatum will definitely not be disappointed.