Saturday, July 18, 2015

How Important Is The Plot?

I didn’t think it was possible for a movie to be worse than Magic Mike. Apparently it is. How and why Magic Mike XXL scored a 65% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me! 

Did the makers think that making the film more racially diverse and adding a few big name actors and celebrity personalities including Jada Smith, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Strahan and Donald Grover aka Childish Gambino would be sufficient? I don’t think so! The movie still needs to have a strong plot, whereas, this one hardly had a story. It was even more horrible than the original! 

Even the few sexy dances, mostly involving Channing Tatum (yes, he is indeed an amazing dancer!) and the few funny moments involving Joe Manganiello, could not save it from the disaster that this flick was. And let’s face it, Kevin Nash, cannot dance! All the additional so-called plot lines that were added for the sequel just seemed unnecessary and did not add any value to the bare-bones version of a story. What was even more frustrating that the film kind of ended abruptly! 

If Director Gregory Jacobs wanted to make a dance movie without caring much about the plot, maybe he should have learned something from the Step Up and Step Up 2: The Streets movies. Now those were good dance movies!! Those were the movies that made me fall in love with Tatum himself and Robert Hoffman. 

Though I am embarrassed to admit that I have seen both the installments in the Magic Mike franchise, I couldn’t help but share my thoughts given I left the theater feeling annoyed. Save your $$ as this movie is pure garbage in my opinion!

However, guest film blogger, Aliah Wright, doesn’t quite agree with me. Here’s what she had to say. Read at your own risk as her review contains some spoilers!

What can I say about Magic Mike XXL? I loved it!

Three years have passed since Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) retired from the oh-so glorious world of taking off his clothes so others could see him flex his pecs (and count the ripples in his six pack -- all while showing off his stellar dance moves. In Magic Mike XXL, we pick up where Mike has left off, now living on his own (dumped by his girlfriend – sorry spoiler alert!) and longing just a tad for the life he left behind.

How do we know?

Just after the film opens see him welding stuff (sparks flying suggestively from a strategically placed welding gun held between his you know what) while dancing all over his woodworking/furniture shop (who knows, really what kind of shop he now owns, who cares) to Ginuwine’s “Pony” as he did here in the original.

Tatum, who reportedly once worked as a stripper in real life before hitting it big, can really dance.


I mean like, really, really well.

And when he finds out his old crew is headed to a stripper convention (!!!) in Myrtle Beach, the lonely and nostalgic Mike throws caution to the wind and says, “Why not?” And crashes the road trip.

I cannot tell a lie. You don’t go to see a movie about hot male strippers for the dialogue.

Or the acting.

Or the plot. (Plot? What plot?) I saw it in a theater in the middle of conservative nowhere Virginia packed with women who whooped and hollered at the screen.

You go for the same reason we all went - to see them strip – and dance - and strip. (All without having to make it rain real dollar bills).

Director Gregory Jacobs acquits himself well with direction and it’s a pretty, slickly shot film. It should be. Steven Soderbergh (who directed the first one as well as the Ocean Eleven franchise and the Oscar-winning Traffic) returns as its cinematographer. The elaborate and well-coordinated dance sequences are fantastic.

And boy can these guys dance well! I mean, like, amazingly well (yeah, I said it again). The music is incredible. The dialogue – well, to be honest, I didn’t really pay attention to that.

Channing Tatum, however, looks pretty frickin’ amazing without a shirt.

Or pants.

And my jaw dropped at least four times during this movie – when the music was playing and I was paying attention to what went on screen – rather than Googling crap on my new iPhone.

Which I did. A lot. 

But the stripping parts had me riveted!

If you’re expecting a plot – go see Terminator. If you’re expecting action, go catch that new Jurassic film.

If you’re expecting to see Joe Manganiello (of HBO’s True Blood fame) act goofy and dance around half naked – while making a thinly veiled reference to vampire films (which was funny) GO SEE THIS FILM!

I am. Again. And I’m buying it on DVD, too!

Aliah D. Wright is the former entertainment editor for Gannett News Service at USA Today. She is presently a business writer and best-selling author of “A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites”. This is her debut review for It’s All In The Movies!

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