“Magic” has been replaced by nostalgia; longing for the vibrancy and electricity of 2012’s “Magic Mike” the sequel pales and is lame, “limp” in comparison. Yes, the physiques are flawless, honed to scintillating perfection, gyrating, double-jointed, slithering between fawning, manic maidens and matrons; still possessing the “moves” but the fire, passion has fizzled, leaving a placid, stale imitation of what once was; this is their last “gig” and we know it.
They are in their thirties, early forties, aware that their stage-life as male “strippers” is waning; reality is encroaching, time to put away the thongs of boys, and don the strapping’s of men. Channing Tatum, “Mike” , imbues his comeback with a level of maturity lacking in the rest of the group; his blasé charm, winning savoir faire and genuine likeability, fells the ladies and keeps the group focused. Matt Bomer is pretty-boy, Zen “Ken”, an aspiring actor; Bomer can sing, and his moment in the spotlight is enhanced by melodic vocal cords and engorged abs. The rest of the corps, blandly predictable.
Spirited, sexy Jada Pinkett Smith, is gritty as “Rome” the group’s last minute emcee; Amber Heard is subtlety intriguing as “Zoe”, seemingly immune to Mike’s magnetism.
The energy, spine of “Magic Mike”, was the titillating, thrilling performance of Matthew McConaughey as emcee “Dallas”; with his absence “Magic Mike XXL” struggles and fails to emerge from “medium”, mediocre entertainment.