Movie Review: Magic Mike XXL (M18)
This movie makes no bones about what it is all about.
There are no hidden messages, no lessons to be learnt.
It is what it is: a film about a group of male entertainers who enjoy being worshipped by throngs of sex-crazed women.
And that's what makes this sequel to the 2012 surprise smash Magic Mike that much more enjoyable.
It's a funny and raunchy fantasy where men are desperate for cash and women are the ones with truckloads of dough.
It's also mainly a buddy road-trip movie where we see the Kings of Tampa trying to get their mojo back while en route to a stripper convention for one last hurrah.
Matthew McConaughey, the anchor of the first Magic Mike film, is absent here, and his Dallas character is said to have abandoned the guys for the glitzier world of Macau.
So it's up to Mike (Channing Tatum) to deliver his "magic" and take over as leader.
But Mike hasn't been a stripper for three years, and his bros (Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez and Kevin Nash) are concerned he's not fully committed to help them ring in the "tsunami of cash" they're looking to get at the convention.
Of course, Mike still has the skills, charisma and bulges in all the right areas to help amp the guys' stripping repertoire up to a whole new XXL level.
This sequel doesn't have the edge and heart of its predecessor, yet there is still something quite heartwarming beneath all the glistening muscles and bump-and-grind action.
The guys know their days of gyrating in teeny-weeny, shiny G-strings are numbered, and they share their insecurities openly with their mates.
It's a sexy movie, but also a sweet celebration of brotherhood.