Magic Mike XXL (Blu-ray) (2015)
Featurette-The Moves of Magic Mike XXL
Additional Footage-Extended Malik Dance Scene
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Gregory Jacobs|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Carrie Anne Hunt
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
German Dolby Digital 5.1
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
2012’s Magic Mike was about more than just stripping, with director Steven Soderbergh using his immense talents to create a raw, real story about male strippers caught up in emotional turmoil. There wasn’t a great deal of actual performing in the flick, with Soderbergh visibly striving for wider appeal beyond females who just want to stare at hot male bodies. But 2015’s Magic Mike XXL tries a different approach, with more dancing and more strippers. The sequel jettisons actors Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn and Alex Pettyfer, while Soderbergh has demoted himself to cinematographer, leaving his long-time first assistant director Gregory Jacobs to grasp the reins. Magic Mike XXL is not exactly terrible, but it is studiously mediocre and aggressively forgettable, playing out more like a telemovie than a major motion picture release.
It has been three years since Mike (Channing Tatum) left the Kings of Tampa, giving up life as a stripper in favour of owning a furniture construction business. Mike is feeling the pressure, though, struggling with his financial situation as well as his damaged love life. Tricked into attending a pool party with the remaining Kings of Tampa, Mike is reunited with his old pals, who aspire to travel to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for one last hurrah. Deciding to throw in for the trip, Mike joins fellow dancers Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tarzan (Kevin Nash) and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias). En-route, Mike also meets a young photographer named Zoe (Amber Heard), and he’s forced to turn to his former boss Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) for assistance.
Pettyfer is not missed in any way, shape or form; he was hopelessly miscast in the first picture, and Magic Mike XXL benefits from his absence. On the other hand, however, McConaughey’s absence is felt, as the actor gave the 2012 movie an extra spark of charm and comedy. The main constant, of course, is Tatum as the titular Mike, and he’s his usual amicable self here. Out of the newcomers, the only real standout is Elizabeth Banks, who has a small but memorable role.
One can understand the studio’s enthusiasm for turning Magic Mike into a franchise; the 2012 movie earned big at the global box office from a $7 million budget. Truth be told, though, there was no clear direction for a sequel to pursue, and this issue translates to the finished movie. The stripper convention may be the ultimate goal of the narrative, but there isn’t much momentum to drive the narrative, with Magic Mike XXL boiling down to a succession of set-pieces of varying quality. So while a scene of Richie performing an impromptu strip show for a store cashier (to the tune of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys) is amusing, most other sequences fall flat, including an awkwardly prolonged scene involving the boys interacting with older ladies at a house party.
The big problem with XXL is that it’s drab. The first movie was quite often sedate, with a casual atmosphere of conversation amid the dance routines. Such a cinematic demeanour fell right into Soderbergh’s wheelhouse, but Jacobs evidently struggles, maintaining the staid improvisational mood but devoting a torturous amount of screen-time to empty dialogue that’s pointless and far too prolonged, crying out for a more judicious editor. Not much of the chatter really stands out; Magic Mike XXL instead preserves the illusion of dialogue, with not enough meaty character or story development. As a result, it’s incredibly forgettable. The movie would have been far more agreeable if it ran closer to 85 minutes, rather than two hours. Thus, Magic Mike XXL is best consumed as a visual feast, with Soderbergh paying attention to lighting and colour. On the whole, however, outside of a few successful scenes and the consistently lush photography, there isn’t much to recommend here.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region A version includes an extra featurette entitled Georgia, which runs for only a couple of minutes and contains comments from Soderbergh. Roadshow's press release listed this extra, but it certainly wasn't on my review disc.
|DVD||PlayStation 4, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||LG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W|