Thursday, 9 July 2015

film review: Magic Mike XXL

I'll tell you what's awkward: when you get to a point in your life where you get cocky (yes, pun intended, you're welcome) that you know what sort of movie the sequel to Magic Mike, that documentary about the profession of male stripping from 2012, will be... and you're wrong in almost every way.

I'll tell you what else is awkward: when you walk out of Magic Mike XXL and the first thing you say is "there really could have been more stripping". This was the mission of this creative masterpiece of a sequel: as many abs as possible. Some more of Ginuwine's Pony. Channing Motherfucking Tatum, for days.

Everyone, I'm just going to say it. Don't see this movie, there is not enough male nudity.

It also sucks in a wide collection of other ways. There are far too many minutes in this movie (115, to be exact) with no music, for a start. I want the up and coming club hits playing pretty much the whole time. I want there to be some puns. I want the characters to either have no back story or an over-used character trope. I don't want some half-assed shit about a guy's dream to run a truck that dispenses probiotic frozen yoghurt. I kid you not. An actual thing from this movie.

There are also far too many minutes in this movie where everyone is like, sitting around. I thought it was going to have aspects of the comedy and self-deprecation when the core cast all went nuts on MDMA early in the piece and did silly things, but then there's dead air for an hour. With the metaphorical crickets chirping and tumbleweed blowing down the main street.

What I want to know is, how the ACTUAL FUCK did Donald Glover (Childish Gambino, Community) get himself involved in this absolute train wreck (side note: previewed the trailer for upcoming Judd Apatow movie "Trainwreck" starring Amy Schumer; looks fantastic) of a movie? He is a successful artist. He wears hats so well. He has such a nice face. Why Donald? Why?

All the men are very muscular and tanned in that charming way that has more than a hint of the orange skin tone about it. They've all got a little older, but they're still keeping it tight. There are all these carefully sculpted muscle groups that aren't doing what they do best: being bared to the world.

Let me be very clear: I understand this level of fitness and muscle definition is not realistic for us people of the real world. I understand that objectification of anyone is ultimately destructive when it puts the kind of pressure on us all to strive for something we'll never be. But if I'm paying for entertainment and I've expected something, it's just so hard to recalibrate my expectations. That's really what's upsetting here. I'm not sure if it's the patriarchy's fault, but that's who I'm going to blame.

That and the incredibly poor writing that didn't even bother to leave holes in the plot, it just skipped out on plot all together. Now we're at the beach. Now we're in the forest. Now we're in the South. Now we're

Oh wait I don't care anymore.

Loyally I will note and applaud the high quality of Channing Tatum's dancing. I like Channing, I really do. He tends to say a good collection of feminist things in a fairly inoffensive way (rather than the "look at me, I thought a feminist thing, where's my gold star and my free pass to be a sexist asshole?") in the public space. I like how his character, the eponymous Mike, incorporated his work with his male entertainer past in this excellent trailer from the movie:

Actually, listen: if you just watched the above you have now seen all the best parts. Don't fall into the trap of wanting more: there is no more that is any good.

Just so bad, you guys. Take away feels from this movie: why won't you stop talking and dance?! Also, all the dollar bills on the stage bothered me - it didn't feel safe. Someone could have slipped on there.

It gets no stars. I even feel bad for making you read my review, but if I managed to stop just one person who is expecting lols and eye candy underscored by some sick tunes paying to see this shit, my work here is done.

You're welcome.

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