Last night, five of the eight members of my still-together high school clique The Posse got out our of sweatpants, arranged babysitters, loaded up on caffeine and hit a 7:45 screening of Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike’s Last Dance, the third and (hopefully) final installment of a series that started off on an expected high note and has been descending like a lead balloon since.
The Film Authority tried to warn us, calling the film “vapid” but we didn’t listen.
I saw the first Magic Mike because I wanted to scream and laugh at stripping men with my girlfriends. The film provided that, along with a depth I hadn’t expected that made it a standout hit that, in retrospect, made the string of sequels that are destroying its memory inevitable.
Though objectively not as good a film, I enjoyed the Magic Mike XXL sequel even more than the first. It was less serious and more silly, and provided plenty of opportunities to giggle in the theater. It’s the kind of film that’s made to watch with other people.
So I wasn’t expecting—nor even really wanting—great cinema from Magic Mike’s Last Dance.
I didn’t expect it to be good. I just didn’t think it would be so bad.
When Nina texted that we should go to the movie, I was in without ever watching the trailer. What did I need the trailer for?
This was Magic Mike. We all knew what we were paying for.
So perhaps it’s on me that I kept waiting for Mike’s boys to show up in London to save the day—but Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, and Adam Rodriguez never arrived except for one grainy Zoom call.
I hadn’t banked on Matthew McConaughey showing up, but I was hoping for a cameo.
Okay, fine. Forty-year-old-Mike would have to find new boys to make his comeback with. Except, he’s not doing the dancing. He’s directing.
And we never get to know the dancers in his ensemble.
I mean, we don’t even know their names. How’s that for lack of character development?
Instead, we watch a clueless Mike try to become a choreographer hired by rich woman Maxandra (Salma Hayek) whose mood swings would make Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction tell her to calm down.
I honestly thought she was our villain, until Magic Mike said wistfully that “no one ever believed in him like that before” or a piece of similarly generic dialogue.
Yes, she believed in him by undercutting him at every turn, having random outbursts of jealousy during rehearsals, and insisting that their show was about female empowerment.
I’m telling you, their love story will end with her putting an ice pick through his eye because he looked at a waitress in a way she didn’t like.
I could go on; but I’d rather not.
Ginger brought her “Make It Rain Money Maker” along, but we barley had cause to shoot around the fake Benjamins.
Lest you think I’m a film snob, the condemnation was unanimous.
You know I try to keep it positive around here, and say nothing if I really hate something. But if any film ever deserved a roasting, it’s this one. Consider my negativity a public service announcement protecting you from two hours you will never get back.
And I didn’t even mention that, for reasons that elude me, the whole thing is narrated by a British teenage girl.
We should’ve gone to the Titanic reissue instead.
Look, I think this has reached the point of being a national security issue; potential audiences need to be warned tthat this is not acceptable as a Magic Mike film. No sir. It breaks my heart to think of you all lining up with your ‘make it rain’ money guns and getting rewarded with this slop. No characters, no names for the other strippers, and I’m still harping on about Mike ‘I’m never dancing again’ producing a killer finale routine that we never once saw him practice. If we don’t see any team-building or practicing, a la Rocky, or Flashdance, what is the point of this movie? And mixing children and stripping is not the killer combo that Soderberg seems to think it is. How hard would it be to get a question about this film raised in congress, maybe a formal vote on warming the nation before Valentine’s Day arrives? Lives, and people’s enjoyment, are at stake…like you, I think this is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. It’s just so phoned in and perfunctory…I hated XX as a step down the the first one, but even watching CinemaSins breakdown of XXL, it’s way better than this!
Exactly. We were denied anything worth “making it rain” over!
Yes, it would have been so easy to make a mediocre Magic Mike 3 – even if none of the other stars came back, just follow the Top Gun Maverick format – have Tatum the teacher to a new crop of dancers.
I’m not saying I would’ve love it, but it was what I was expecting.
The Salma Hayek character was completely bizarre and I do not what anyone was thinking bringing a teenage girl into the mix.
I really have not had this much disdain for a film in a long time…..
And you’re totally right about his final dance out of nowhere — and the fact that they had to intercut it with his “romantic” moments with Hayek just to make sure we knew what was happening shows they knew just how weak it was.
“I need a plumber and a ballerina” is not the kind of dialogue I am looking for in my stripper wish fulfillment stories….
I think a really bad movie has to be made by really talented people; that sense of the audience being shortchanged is what makes me angry. I guess if we’re mugs enough to keep paying for it, that’s on us, but nobody asked for this film to be so superficial, confused and just so little fun to sit through. Not Magic-Mike at all. Sigh.
Agreed. This doesn’t even fall into the “so bad it’s good” category.
Exactly. It’s a bait and switch heist of our cashola.
Yes! Any other movie playing would certainly have been a better choice.
Oh dear. Onwards to better things, hopefully!
Really, if you’re not going to listen to Dix when he’s writing about male strippers, when are you going to listen to him?
You’re right, I know. I will never substitute my judgement for his again.
Kudos to The Posse (and Film Authority) for reporting in on this one, so I can now avoid it at any cost. Mrs. Chess and I found the first film very entertaining…the second one not so much…and then this. It sounds worse than I even imagined, and that’s pretty bad.
We do the hard work so you don’t have to!
Then please: come battle the mold in the bathroom, here. The scrubbing bubbles do not work. Still got to go in with bleach or 409 and a doobie-pad.
Ha! Scrubbing Bubbles are a miracle for maintenance. But you’re right, one the mold takes hold there’s nothing that will work but elbow grease.
I can never find the right water-to-bleach mix for the spray bottle. First: the bottle’s pump eventually eats away from the bleach. Second: either not enough water and the bleach makes you gag; too much water, you can’t kill the mold. And I always wipe it down with the towel, after; I never let the water sit for the mold to grow — and it still does!
Sounds like you need a professional!
Single life means you must battle the demons of laundry and soap scum and little boxes . . . as I now juggle two cats. Twice the litter, twice the fun.
The BEST way to watch a movie: make it an event and go with the posse. Film is a group event. Top Gun: Maverick is another example of that community that takes movies over the top.
Completely true. It’s a different experience in a crowded theater vs at home. Even in a theater filled with strangers, there’s a special energy I still love
Exactly. It’s a bait and switch heist of our cashola.