By Kate “One Take Kate” Taylor
|Image via IMDB and Mr Leon Taylor|
Confess! Ok, no, I’ve not seen Magic Mike so I was just ready for anything with this one. Taking along an eager gaggle of giggly gals, I settled in for what I admittedly thought…would be the worst.
|“What you mean you ain’t seen Magic Mike?” Image via IMDB|
Probably the most pleasant surprise for me was how equality minded MMXXL is! Comparatively, another blockbuster released this year, Pitch Perfect 2 is much less respectful towards different groups. PP2 carries some snide jokes about body or slut shaming among other gross-out humour tropes. While MMXXL celebrates women and their lives; their bodies in a positive way, their sexuality and their right to get theirs without apology; as well as treating different races respectfully without a kitschy lens on them. There’s much more consideration given across the board than girl power flick PP2 in fact, so well done MMXXL! There’s also a nice thread carried through the film about life purpose in relation to age. The latter usually displayed, by whatever former WCW and WWE wrestler Kevin Nash’s ‘Tarzan’ character is up too. MMXXL unexpectedly asks – “What’s passed it”? The answer is that it’s a state of mind particular to individual. Happiness, whatever that truly means to you after a few times around the block, can come to you once you create it.
Here’s my immediate reaction to Magic Mike XXL, right after the New Zealand Premiere screening
|The true happiness that only comes from knowing you look freaking amazing in a daggy singlet and shorts.
Image via IMDB
There are also some great moments of gender construct role reversal at play. Andie McDowell makes a fantastic cameo appearance in a scene that is quite sophisticated in its turning of the tables. A group of sexualised men turn up…in most films this is a dangerous premise. But in MMXXL it became a beautiful exchange of thoughts, feelings and celebrations of each other more than anything else. No danger – a very real feeling, party at home scene which came across wonderfully.
|Gratuitous abs shot. Image via|
If this is all sounding a bit serious and intellectual…don’t worry! MMXXL is still a total man-flesh fest! Worked into a classic road trip movie framework and loaded with a super sexy soundtrack, that I pretty much started looking for on iTunes immediately on leaving the cinema. It was well received by the ladies in attendance at the premiere screening of MMXXL, with plenty of whoops, gasps, excited giggle fits and “Oh My Gods”. The dance scene performances are ridiculously talented, painfully reminding all that you’ll never have the kind of rhythm these dudes do…even when getting their Vogue on!
|Can we give it up for Joe Maganiello? Fantastic performance! OTK fave right here! Image via|
MMXXL explodes in a climax at the Annual Male Stripper, sorry Entertainer Convention in Myrtle Beach, Florida on 4th of July weekend…great cinema release date synergy stuff right there! There’s so many laughs to be had. Particularly my fave was ‘Big Dick Richie’. All Joe Maganiello’s lines are the best ones, his totally classic animated facial expressions and his dance routines (choreographed or not – Service Station. That’s all I’m saying…) all nearly stole the show. Channing Tatum is as you’d expect, flawless…dayum I’d love to dance like he does! Said everyone everywhere, ever. There’s also some great female talent here too: Amber Heard (The Rum Diary), Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham) and Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2) contribute believable performances of real women in their roles. Donald Glover gets to flex his muss as ‘Andre’ freestyle rapper that’s much more his hip hop alter ego Childish Gambino; than his goofy athlete character ‘Troy’ from Community. Last but not least, Matt Bomer Ladies and Gentlemen. Whoa! Matt lends his incredible singing voice to his performance on more than once occasion in MMXXL and it’s most definitely a slice of Heaven.
|“We’re just two guys, sitting in front of a bunch of girls, asking you to love watching us take our clothes off”. Image via IMDB|
MMXXL is a cute movie about bonding with your bros. It’s about accessing your true, authentic self and using that to get the most out of your life. Don’t do the same ol’ routine if you’re getting nothing out of it is essentially the message. I loved it and after seeing it, I was definitely still laughing the next day! How does it stack up to Magic Mike? Well as you might remember from further up in the review; or I dunno you might be blinded by abs at this point, I’ve not seen Magic Mike so it was great to have some friends at the screening who could let me know how it err measures up. Apparently its way funnier, there’s “lots more dancing but the dancing is a bit cooler and different” and “it’s definitely fun, so good”.
|“Did you see that awesome picture of our abs up there?” “Yeeeah…” Image via IMDB.|
Magic Mike XXL gets 8/10
|“It’s like you’re my mirror! Oh-oh” Image via IMDB|
So what do you think? Are you a Chan fan or perhaps you’re in the Joe boat? Matt more your kinda cat? Let me know below and on Facebook if you’re planning to check out Magic Mike XXL when it hits New Zealand cinemas July 9th!