Coming to theatres from director Steven Soderberg and Warner Bros. is the finale to the trilogy with MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE.
The economy and covid has hit Mike Lane’s (Channing Tatum) business and he is in deep debt. At a bartending gig, he meets Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek Pinault) who is going through a divorce and some issues of her own. At the same party, Mike runs into a woman who remembers him from his dancing days and she immediately tells Maxandra.
After the party, she asks Mike about it and when tense comes to tease, Maxandra has an ‘a-ha’ moment for her life. She immediately asks Mike to come to her home in London because she has an amazing job opportunity for him. Staying in her home, Mike meets daughter Zadie (Jemelia George) and stern looking Victor (Ayub Khan Din).
The new job Maxandra is offering is to take over the theatre she wants in the divorce and create an amazing show with Mike as the director. She also makes it clear that it is now a strictly working relationship even though daughter Zadie wonders. Now, they search London to find dancers that are perfect for the show and rehearsals begin.
There are theatre hurdles to get through, emotional hurdles to be confronted and in between is a show no one expected.
Tatum returns as Mike and immediately goes into slinky mode within ten minutes of the film starting. Trust me when I say I’m not complaining, it almost felt like ‘hey, lets get this out of the way so we can get to the story’ but much, much hotter. It is nice to see Tatum embrace Mike one more time but with a different feel and solid storyline. His dance moves are singularly memorable, but then again that is the case for MAGIC MIKE and MAGIC MIKE XXL.
Hayek-Pinault as Maxandra is a hot mess trying to keep her insanity to a minimum with a divorce, a daughter she doesn’t quite understand, and a night she can not forget. Taking Mike away from his life in Florida, she sees that he has so much more to offer and this is a chance for both of them to break away. Hayek-Pinault is funny, out of control, confused and shows her characters insecurities.
Din as Victor had me going from start to finish. If I ever had a butler (if that’s what he was) I would want him to be exactly like Din. Knows his job yet has an opinion and gawd help the person who says, ‘so what are you thinking?’ because the floodgates will open. George as Zadie is the voice of the story and she has a lot to say. Like her mother in being confused about things, the story writes itself and the outcome brings Zadie to the forefront of her own life.
Other cast include Caitlin Gerard as Kim, Nancy Carroll as Phoebe, Gavin Spokes as Matthew, Juliette Motamed as Hannah,
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Let’s get it out of the way first, yes, there are hot abs, smooth moves, choreography that is off the charts and women loving every minute of it. The music has a few memorable moments that will bring a smile to faces and Mike hasn’t forgotten his friends (even if he owes them money) who surround him with positivity. In this film, Tatum’s Mike takes chances and begins to believe in himself again.
Now, let’s dive in deeper. The theme here is women being empowered and fighting against having to make choices placed on them by society. As a woman of a certain age myself, that is very poignant and not just for the youngin’s. An example is that I have very long hair but people say/ask, ‘when are you going to cut it?’ or ‘you’re getting older and it would be so much easier to take care of if it were short’.
My consistent answer in my head is, ‘wtf?’ and moments when I thought that I should because that’s what is expected. I’m older, maybe it would be easier, blah, blah, blah but, finally my heart won over my head and it’s still long. The same with sexuality, emotions, thoughts and love and that is what comes across in the film. Breaking the stereotypes, pressures and expectations that are no longer valid but instead allowing the heart to have a say.
If men and women just said what they wanted in all those categories, life could be different. We all want to be appreciate as a human being, we all want moments that take our breath away and we all want to be treated like we are ‘the only person’ (see the movie for more) in someone’s eyes. What MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE tries to bring is one word ‘connection’ – but it is up to each individual to explore it and accept what works marvelously for each of us and damn it, just be happy!
Oh, and a sultry eyed ab factory breathing a little hot breath on the neck wouldn’t be too bad either – just sayin’.
In the end – it is the final tease!