MAGIC Mike XXL delivers what it promises. A bigger movie with lots more going on than its 2012 predecessor Magic Mike.

While the original was gritty and often seedy look at the world of a male stripper, number two has cut back on the angst and is just a whole lot more fun with the audience taken for one hell of a ride.

At the end of the last movie, we saw Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) leave behind his stripper identity Magic Mike to start his furniture business and start a relationship with Brooke.

 

From left, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello and Jada Pinkett Smith in a scene from the movie Magic Mike XXL. Supplied by Warner Bros, Claudette Barius.
From left, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello and Jada Pinkett Smith in a scene from the movie Magic Mike XXL. Supplied by Warner Bros, Claudette Barius. Claudette Barius

 

However three years later we learn things haven't quite turned out to be the perfect ending for Mike, so he joins up with his fellow Kings of Tampa male entertainment for one last performance at a stripper convention.

Along the way, each of the male entertainers realise who they are and what they love doing and bring it together for one last amazing act on stage.

As movies go, there really isn't much of a plot. 

But that is not necessarily a bad thing and actually what makes it work so well.

The target audience doesn't really need a huge intricate storyline when it has fabulous dancing, lots of laughs and of course some amazingly attractive men.

While the original was a lot more realistic, I like that this movie has branched out a lot more into the background characters.

 

Joe Manganiello in a scene from Magic Mike XXL
Joe Manganiello in a scene from Magic Mike XXL Claudette Barius

 

Big Dick Ritchie (Joe Manganiello) gets a fabulous scene in a fuel station while Ken (Matt Bomer) shows us his singing pipes.

And we cannot forget a nice homage from the first film where Mike once again dances to Pony by Ginuwine. 

There are a lot more new faces including Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) as the group's MC as well as Elizabeth Banks and Andie MacDowell.

While the movie was a bit slow to start with, it certainly ends with a bang.

I was fortunate to attend the premiere at the Qantas Credit Union Arena in Sydney on Monday night.

The event featured main stars Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello on the red carpet as well as writer/producer Reid Carolin and director Gregory Jacobs.

Shown on the massive screen and followed by a Q&A, the huge crowd was electrifying. 

There were plenty of cheers and laughter throughout the movie, making it one film experience like no other.

Magic Mike XXL opens in cinemas on Thursday.

 

Staring: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Jada Pinkett Smith

Director: Gregory Jacobs

Stars: 3/5



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