MOVIE REVIEW – It’s the end of an era as Steven Soderbergh and Channing Tatum bring the Magic Mike franchise to a close with Magic Mike’s Last Dance. The first film was a genuinely great film, with Tatum giving one of the best performances of his career. Its sequel, Magic Mike XXL, was just as entertaining and had a surprisingly heartfelt message about aging and masculinity. Both films were character-driven comedy dramas with something to say.
The Magic Mike franchise was first introduced to audiences in 2012 with the eponymous film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum as the titular character, Magic Mike. Tatum, who has danced as a stripper in the past, brought authenticity to his role and helped make the film a critical and commercial success. The film centered around Mike, a talented stripper and aspiring entrepreneur, as he navigates the ups and downs of the strip club scene in Florida and develops relationships with his fellow dancers.
The sequel, Magic Mike XXL, was released in 2015 and continued to follow the lives of Mike and the rest of the Kings of Tampa as they embark on a road trip to a stripper convention in Myrtle Beach. The film was praised for its more lighthearted tone and the heartfelt themes it tackled regarding aging, masculinity, and friendship.
Third time not the charm
Unfortunately, Magic Mike’s Last Dance fails to live up to its predecessors. The plot is thin, which wouldn’t be a problem in a better, more focused film. But let’s be honest, nobody goes to see Magic Mike for the plot – they go for the hot guys dancing and grinding. What made the first two films so appealing was the fact that they gave insight into the characters and what motivated them. However, Magic Mike’s Last Dance has nothing to say and the dance sequences, while visually impressive, are lacking the authenticity that made the first two films so memorable.
Soderbergh returns to direct the final chapter of the trilogy, but it seems he has forgotten what made the first film so great. The original cast members get only a small cameo in the film, with the focus instead being on newer, younger, and more ripped dancers. This makes Magic Mike’s Last Dance feel more like a feature-length advertisement for the Magic Mike Live show. The dancers from the London stage show – which also has Miami and Las Vegas shows – feature heavily in the film, but they are almost all without names or specific identities.
First time it was kind of unique
In the first film and its sequel, all the strippers had something unique about them. They weren’t trained dancers, and their clumsiness made the dance sequences memorable and authentic. Magic Mike’s Last Dance, on the other hand, feels almost clinical in its approach, not just to the dance scenes but also to sexiness itself. The first dance scene, just 10 minutes in, between Tatum and Salma Hayek Pinault, is the most cringe-inducing in the entire franchise. It’s supposed to be hot and sexy, but the scene falls flat and comes across as dated.
While Tatum still has the moves, his character claims that his dance days are over. This leaves the film without proper dance scenes until the end. The final number is staged impressively, but it lacks the sexiness that made scenes like the ‘It’s Raining Men’ number so incredibly sexy.
A lackluster ending
In conclusion, Magic Mike’s Last Dance brings the stripper saga to a disappointing and lackluster close. Strangely sexless, Soderbergh’s film fails to deliver the magic that made the first two films so great. If you’re looking for a better experience, watch the Magic Mike Live show or stick to the first two Magic Mike films.”
Direction - 6.2
Actors - 6.4
Story - 5.5
Visuals/Music/Sounds - 7.2
Ambience - 6.2
In conclusion, Magic Mike’s Last Dance brings the stripper saga to a disappointing and lackluster close. Strangely sexless, Soderbergh's film fails to deliver the magic that made the first two films so great. If you're looking for a better experience, watch the Magic Mike Live show or stick to the first two Magic Mike films."
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