Chan­ning works his magic

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

GUYS, when was the last time you told your girl­friend or wife that she was beau­ti­ful?

If you had to take a minute to re­call you may be in trou­ble, be­cause this Magic Mike se­quel has made it its mis­sion to keep her re­as­sured whether you do or not.

While the first was about en­ter­tain­ing women with a few cheeky strip per­for­mances, part two is about cel­e­brat­ing them while still putting on a show for them.

Three years af­ter hang­ing up his G-string to es­tab­lish his fur­ni­ture build­ing busi­ness, Mike (Chan­ning Ta­tum) joins his old strip­per bud­dies, the Kings of Tampa, for one last dance with a fresh rou­tine at a con­ven­tion in Myr­tle Beach. Let the road trip be­gin. Along the way, they meet up with Mike’s for­mer em­ployer Rome (Jada Pin­kett Smith), so­cialite South­erner Nancy (Andie MacDow­ell) and pho­tog­ra­pher Zoe (Am­ber Heard).

The pac­ing and struc­ture of Magic Mike XXL plays as a metaphor for fore­play, or at least how it should be done – a big, long, drawn out tease un­til that fi­nal pay­off (the last shot is ac­tu­ally Ta­tum watch­ing fire­works with a smirk).

Yet the pay­off still is not re­ally the point here and nei­ther is the plot or char­ac­ters – the build-up is.

Mike and his mates are all about two hours of fe­male wor­ship, re­mind­ing women of all races, shapes and sizes they are beau­ti­ful crea­tures who need spe­cial at­ten­tion and are to be ap­pre­ci­ated.

It is not just a hand­ful of toned, gy­rat­ing men who be­lieve these women should be hon­oured. It is re­in­forced by Pin­kett Smith’s char­ac­ter, whose sole pur­pose is to make sure her cus­tomers are ap­pro­pri­ately adored, al­ways re­fer­ring to them as queens.

When was the last time a film put women on a pedestal and treated them with such un­apolo­getic ado­ra­tion?

It has cer­tainly been a while; thank good­ness for Magic Mike XXL.

Chan­ning Ta­tum (cen­tre) stars in Magic Mike XXL.

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