When Extra Extra Large Doesn’t Measure Up (Film Thoughts: Magic Mike XXL)

B9AtDiqIcAEo5p7There’s this guy I follow on Instagram who has the perfect face, the perfect body, but he is straight. And then one evening I find myself in the club where he is bartending, and he seems to have the perfect personality: jovial, funny, engaging. But I find something is off: he seems to be pandering, like he is trying too hard to be liked. He seems to be continually “on,” that the his overall effect to me seems stilted, and scripted. And then I find myself turned off – his fantasy was better than his (admittedly good) reality. That’s how I feel about “Magic Mike XXL.”  The first movie was hugely successful, and I liked it enough for me to look forward to the sequel. And the movie delivers, in the sense that it is a more character-driven piece than the first one, as if there was a conscious effort for everyone to lay bare, so to speak, their characters to the audience. Channing Tatum is a natural as Mike, but Mangianello seems off, and Bomer has that glassy-eyed look that makes it seem like he would rather be anywhere else but in the movie. So my bottom line? I felt underwhelmed  I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, nor the almost non-existent storyline. I even felt some scenes to be borderline homophobic. Whether it was intended or not, this seems to have been made for and only for women – not even the slightest gay content (even if there was a scene at a gay bar) and I am not even complaining about the lack of skin. It reminded me of going to The Abbey in West Hollywood, and finding it full of women who thinks they are so cool because they are at a gay establishment ogling the hunky servers. The movie is more a girls night out, and I just didn’t feel like I belonged. So yes, for me, XXL just didn’t measure up.

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