Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
When “Magic Mike” hit the theatres in 2012, it created a tsunami. Not only was it a critical and financial success, the Movie shot its star, Channing Tatum, into the stratosphere and made him a superstar. Loosely-based on Tatum’s earlier career as an exotic dancer, the Movie was not only sexy, the characters were well-developed (no pun intended!) with relatable issues and struggles. The coterie of strippers returned to the big screen with “Magic Mike XXL” three years later in a “road trip/buddy movie” where they travel to Myrtle Beach from Miami in search of reclaiming their fame. Now, with Director Steven Soderbergh returning at the helm, we have MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE and I can only hope they weren’t lying with the word “last” in the title.
Mike’s fledgling furniture business had failed, and he is now a bartender for hire. Working a fundraising event, one-time Actress Maxandra “Max” Mendoza (Salma Hayek Pinaud) discovers Mike’s past and offers him a nice chunk of change to come out of retirement and give her a lap dance. Tatum still has the moves and the sequence started with sexy energy. Then it went on. And on. And on. In order to supress giggles at Hayak’s facial expressions, which harkened Meg Ryan’s now-classic deli scene in “When Harry Met Sally”, I focused my attention to the exquisite furnishings and amazing artwork on the walls (kudos to the art direction). Obviously impressed with his skills, Max invites Mike to London, where she would like him to direct a new version of a Victorian play playing at her soon-to-be billionaire ex-husband’s family owned theatre which will highlight gyrating male entertainers.
MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE honestly confused me as to which direction it was leading. It opens with a narration by Max’s daughter Zadie (Jemelia George, who quickly wore out her promising welcome) with some flowery verbiage about the relationship between dance and human beings in an adolescent tone that wishes she could write like Margaret Laurence. Then it felt like a gender reversal role movie akin to “Pretty Woman”. By the time it felt like it was a revenge movie with a feminist twist…or…a romantic liaison between two exceptionally attractive leads, I lost interest.
The Movie’s biggest downfall is that it is about as provocative as a television ad for breakfast cereal. In an age where streaming services and top-tier cable networks are successfully pushing adult-themed boundaries, why would people go see a movie about strippers and not show a gluteus maximus? Am I wrong? One scene has 12 attractive dancers gyrate while dressed in suits, shirts and ties – when the scene ends, they’re still dressed like they’re about to go to their jobs on Bay Street.
MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE plays like it’s a special, viewer discretion advised episode of “So You Think You Can Dance”.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release MAGIC MIKE: LAST DANCE February 10, 2023.
For advertising opportunites please contact email@example.com