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Magic Mike XXL garners audience approval

Tatum at the premiere of Magic Mike XXL.

Wikipedia.com

Tatum at the premiere of Magic Mike XXL.

Amanda Barrentine, Business Manager

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Let’s be honest — most of us were disappointed with the first “Magic Mike.” Most who watched it probably wanted it to be straight sex and male objectification, but the producers decided to try to put in a story line, and it all went to hell.

The good news is “Magic Mike XXL” was the movie that the first one should have been. It had a storyline that actually managed to work, and the male objectification was what most that saw the film really wanted.

In this new movie, Mike is seen at the beginning with his own design business, having finally kicked it off with some success. However, he’s unhappy, as seen by him throwing away a handwritten sticky note on a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough. He only has one employee, and he doesn’t yet have enough reliable accounts to pay for the employee’s healthcare.

Then, one night, an old familiar song comes on while Mike stays to work late — that’s right, “Pony” by Ginuwine. He remembers just how much fun he had being a “male entertainer” (the term that the boys coin during the movie), and he shows up to meet the old Kings of Tampa after they call to let him know that they’re coming through Miami on their way to an annual stripper convention. Dallas, the emcee, has gone — “taken the kid and gone to Macau,” according to the rest of the guys. Mike is concerned on how this “final ride” is going to go without one, but he has a backup card.

The story of the movie involves the men bonding and digging deep to find themselves, including throwing out the old routines, notably the fireman routine that Richie used to perform. Mike helps the men find routines that are more true to themselves as they head to the convention.

At one point, the men stop by a cocktail lounge frequented by drag queens, where the main female love interest is introduced. She is a photographer who is promised a position in New York only to be disappointed by later finding out it comes at the price of being a side chick. Having drag queen representation was definitely a welcome surprise, especially since the men seemed to bond over the experience of working to be drag queens, and there was no bashing of those who live that lifestyle either. All in all, I was very pleased to see that.

Overall, “Magic Mike XXL” is the movie that provides a story of men as close as brothers taking a final ride together for the thrill of it — a hot and wild ride for anyone who enjoys watching the human body move the way I do. It’s a must see for those who were disappointed by the first and well worth the male exploitation.

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Magic Mike XXL garners audience approval