Sunday, 2 August 2015

Magic Mike XXL ... Flat-chested

TITILLATION is the name of the game in Magic Mike, or at least that's what it should have been. The first film promised tonnes of sex, but it fizzled out, and viewers were left with lots of bumping and grinding, and Matthew McConaughey's treasured chest.
  The first film reflected on the hard times of  male strippers, and men in general.
   For example, producer-actor Channing Tatum's Mike had his hands full with three daytime jobs, and not including the stripping at night. He couldn't get banks to finance his projects. A woman, Brooke, asks him this question after seeing him strip for the first time: "Entrepreneur/stripper or stripper/entrepreneur?"
    And if they couldn't get decent jobs or had to resort to illicit ways to pay their rent, they could at least get women to scream hysterically for them.
  Times are only slightly better for the five strippers in director Gregory Jacobs' Magic Mike XXL.  Mike is progressing with his handmade furniture company, but conveniently drops it to go on a boys' trip -- with Richie (Joe Manganiello), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Tarzan (Kevin Nash) -- to a strippers' convention.
Treasured chests.
    The economic gloominess that permeated the first film is only hinted at in the sequel. The guys talk about their jobs -- Ken's an actor and healer, Tito is into artisanal yoghurt, Tarzan's an artist -- but nothing beats the thrill of getting women to eat out of their hands.
    Along the way to the convention, they stop at a friend's mansion, and the conversation that ensues between five white MILFs and the five strippers is the  highlight of this film.
   The lady of the house, divorcee Nancy (Andie MacDowell), and her friends are in high spirits, caused by the sight of the five hunks and wine.
    Nancy says she's slept with only one man (her ex-husband): "I've had only one penis in my entire life."
   Therefore, she says, she encourages her two daughters to play field. Later, Nancy sizes up the gargantuan Richie and beds him. This sex-positive portrayal of women is becoming a norm in films and can mean only great things for gender equality.
Channing Tatum (right) simulates sex with Amber Heard. 
   It used to be all about the male gaze, or men ogling women, but the tables are turned in these two films, and by the reactions of the strippers, they're comfortable with it: they congratulate Richie for fornicating with Nancy.
    Another positive portrayal of women is Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith), an old flame of Mike who's now the owner of a black stripping club. Rome is also much older than Mike.
   The fact that two older prominent women in this film are richer and more powerful than the five hunks speaks volumes of the fortunes of men.
 
 
2 out of 5 stars
   
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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