The time has come ladies for that night out you’ve been waiting for all year from director Gregory Jacobs and Warner Bros. is “Magic Mike XXL.”

It has been three years since Mike (Channing Tatum) has graced a strip floor as his dream of building custom furniture has happened. Being his own boss, Mike is trying to do right by his one employee but money is tight and relationships over.

Unexpectedly he gets a call from Tarzan (Kevin Nash) saying that the Kings of Tampa were together because of a death in the group. Arriving for a sad gathering, Mike finds Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), Ken (Matt Boomer) and Tito (Adam Rodriguez) sitting pool side.

They guys tells Mike they are on their way to Florida for one last hurrah since Dallas ditched them. Wanting to go out with their pants full of raining cash is the game plan and they want Mike with them. After some grumblings Mike agrees and off they go. On their road trip Mike meets Zoe (Amber Heard) and a few sparks fly.

One stop before hitting Myrtle Beach, Mike stops to see Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), and old friend who has the right stuff to help them in their quest for glory. Rome also grumbles a little but agrees.

In Myrtle Beach, all bets are off – and so are some clothes!

Tatum as Mike plays this role like no time has passed. Jumping right in with his dance moves when Genuwine’s Pony comes on the radio, fans know it’s on. He is still charming, sweet and yes, hawt and here comes the part I’m going to get trampled for. Tatum is such a good character actor that he makes the roles he chooses seem so easy – except here. Granted Mike is still all of those things except the storyline is so muddled and that gave me sad face.

Hey, don’t give me that “well this isn’t about a story” because I would vehemently disagree – hey, strippers have heart too ya know! There are three moments of awesome for me and all three times he’s dancing – because he is amazing and I’m giving props where props are due. I just wish the character had a little more focus and not be willy nilly all over the place because I didn’t know what he was trying to do.

Manganiello as Richie is seriously goofy but in a cute way. That being said, ladies, after you see his convenience store scene, you’ll never be able to go into a 7-11 again without thinking about it. It is hilarious, amazingly well done, charming and when you have the emotional support of the brothers, nothing can go wrong. Manganiello throws his back into every dance he does and by the time it’s over we will also be secretly jealous of Andie McDowell for looking under Richie’s hood.

Boomer as Ken has insecurity issues to work out with Mike so that takes a minute or two. Check out his pipes – his singing you nasty thinkers as he swoons the ladies and does it well. Nash as Tarzan gets to paint his way into the ladies hearts. Rodriguez as Tito is all about the body work. Iglesias gets to be the funny man for a short period of time.

Heard as Zoe – why? No need for it, the beach scene was awkward and totally unnecessary, the kitchen scene was even more unnecessary and she disappears and all I could think was wtf? Sorry, but true.

Smith as Rome – why? No need for it, the meeting between she and Mike was awkward and totally unnecessary, her DJ’ing skills are even more unnecessary and I wanted her to disappear and all I could think was wtf? Not sorry. Seriously, I wasn’t buying it but who cares right – there is a scene in Rome’s club with Tatum and girls on their backs…nuff said! Michael Strahan has a cameo as stripper Augustus – do me a favor, keep your day job dude!

Two shout outs! – Shout out one goes to Andie McDowell for keeping is southern and real! She was hilarious, her accent overdone but great for what she was trying to do. I couldn’t stop laughing – oh yea, that cougar needed taming! Shout out number two goes to Lindsey Moser aka Mini Mart Cashier for her ability to keep it together watching Joe make your day, you lady – are awesome!!!

A special oh-hell-yeeea to Elizabeth Banks as Paris!

Other cast include: Carrie Ann Hunt as Megan, Crystal Hunt as Lauren, Raeden Greer as Charlotte, Stephen Boss as Malik, and Donald Glover as Andre.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Magic Mike XXL” three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I know, I know, I’m horrible for not giving a 100% rave review but seriously, if I went to a club and only saw 15 minutes of a show that was suppose to be two hours of fantastic wouldn’t you want me to tell you? Well, I’m telling you.

That being said, the dancing is absolutely stellar. Tatum hasn’t slowed down a bit when it comes to all his twists, turns, jumps and pelvic thrusts. The ending of the film will have you forgetting about the lulls in the XXL storm so you have that to look forward to. It’s wild eye-candy that will have the theatres partying while the guys are over in the next theatre watching TERMINATOR GENYSIS having the same exact thrill experience.

On the flip side, the Twilight dancers were hilarious too. Does that help? No, well I could cap on the fact that the film seems to try to be politically correct in so many ways and this doesn’t need to be a film about political correctness. Look, this movie is what is it, a reason for women to scream, drool and have a good time with a group of friends. If that’s your glass of poison then go and have a good time as you should.

Go – be wild – have fun and remember…

In the end – it’s all just back to the grind!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.