Magic Mike XXL
Steven Soderbergh's male stripper movie Magic Mike became a left-field hit in 2012, but the film's runaway success was largely due to a shrewd marketing campaign that played up the girl's-night-out sexiness, while Trojan horsing a smart, spare, deceptively stylish, distinctly Soderbergh-ian drama about workplace dehumanization. Gregory Jacobs' cash-in sequel Magic Mike XXL, on the other hand, is the pandering, eager-to-please sex fantasy that most ticket buyers probably thought they were getting the first time around. Magic Mike is a film about stripping; Magic Mike XXL is a stripper. All in all, Magic Mike XXL is still pretty fun for an unambitious cash-in sequel, more of a rollicking road comedy and omnibus performance movie this time, closer to an R-rated Step Up sequel than anything remotely Soderbergh-ian. The film coasts a long way on star Channing Tatum's effortless charm; luckily, he has more than enough to spare. D.B.