Blu-ray Review: Magic Mike XXL

By , Contributor
Picking up three years after the events of the original hit film, Magic Mike XXL finds Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) struggling to maintain his own furniture company with the help of just one employee. The call of the performance arena rings loudly when he re-teams with his former "male entertainer" pals. It's Tarzan (Kevin Nash) who initially informs Mike that their old boss Dallas (Matthew McConaughey in the first film, not involved here) has moved onto greener pastures. So begins the trek to a male stripper convention where the boys will try out some fresh routines in one final blowout together.

The modestly-budgeted, Gregory Jacobs-directed sequel (Steven Soderbergh directed the first; he returns here as cinematographer and editor) raked in enough box office cash to justify its existence, but this thin plot has a harder time doing so. Ultimately, it's pretty much a shaggy dog story—a reason to get Mike, Tarzan, Ken (Matt Bomer), Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) back on a stage to make the women swoon. It's a road movie, with the guys all sorting through a collective bout of early-onset midlife crisis. 
  magic mike xxl (380x233).jpg Frankly it's all a bit depressing. And if you're just looking for the beefcake, there's not a whole lot of that until the convention performance at the very end. On the other hand, there is a lot of talk about growing up, approaching middle age, and the future of their careers as "male entertainers," all punctuated by irresponsible drug use (including driving while under the influence of ecstasy). There's an air of pointlessness surrounding the whole endeavor—a labored encore of sorts. Fans demanded more of Mike and his buddies, so here it is. But there really isn't anything resembling a compelling story. The milieu so effectively captured by Soderbergh in the original isn't duplicated. What we have in its place (basically a halfhearted road movie) doesn't come close to matching the relatively nuanced character piece we saw in the first film. Oh well, maybe I just don't like watching "male entertainers" all that much. Your mileage will certainly vary. 

Magic Mike XXL is now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (with a cool-looking metallic gold slipcover), standard DVD, and Digital HD via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The 1080p high definition transfer, as presented on Blu-ray, looks fantastic. Soderbergh's cinematography is crisp and detailed even in low lighting situations, such as an nighttime beach scene. The transfer offers rock solid black levels, and even in such dark scenes there's not compromise to fine detail. 
 
magic mike xxl 2 (254x380).jpg The lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix is primarily a showcase for the nonstop pop, R&B, and hip hop tunes that populate the soundtrack. Jack Rayner is credited with "additional music," but the thumping, popping, percussive songs are basically what serves as the film's score. The crowd noise during the climactic convention dance sequence is suitably immersive. All told, fans should love how this Blu-ray sounds when cranked way up.

Unfortunately, and this is likely going to be quite disappointing for Magic Mike fans, XXL skimps on extra features in a big way. There's an eight-minute promotional featurette, "The Moves of Magic Mike XXL," that shines a spotlight on the dancing. There's an extended version of Malik's (Stephen "Twitch" Boss) dance routine (about four minutes), and a commercial for filming on-location in the state of Georgia. A pretty weak supplemental package, which actually felt fitting after screening what is ultimately a pretty weak sequel. I don't consider myself part of the very specific target demo this film appeals to, however. If you're in that demo, Magic Mike XXL might just be a great party.

magic mike xxl bd - Copy (300x380).jpg

Share this story About the author

Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

View Profile
Visit Website

More from Chaz
Related Tags
 

Connect With TMR

Recent Writers

View all writers »

December 2016
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31