Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sexy, sweaty, and sweet

Magic Mike XXL is not, by any means, a great movie but it does represent great things. It flips the script on gendered gaze, it values women of color and bodies of all sizes, it is sex-positive, asks good questions about work/life satisfaction, and has a kickass soundtrack.

It is also full of objectively stunning men who take their clothes off and dance beautifully while miming sex acts and emphasizing consent and respect for women.

The story is kind of shit, which makes me sad. It takes too long to get where it's going and there are a lot of unnecessary diversions from the main action of the film. I spent a pretty significant amount of time in the theater wishing we could just move on and not be stuck in an awkward exchange of tension. The first film was better about that sort of thing, and seemed trim and tight by comparison but I guess you just can't have everything.

The dancing was a hell of a lot better this time around, though, and on top of the dancing being better the motivations for the dances were better. Before we saw exotic dancers performing some very stock exotic dance routines - sexy cowboy, sexy soldier, sexy firefighter kind of stuff. This time each performance was fleshed out to be unique and a good realization of character, which was delightful.

There was a lot going on in the movie that didn't really have to be going on but I feel like some quick edits and a total runtime trim of 20 minutes or so would do a lot to improve the film. There was nothing glaringly terrible and a lot of good stuff, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it but I'd say know going in that it's not perfect and you won't be disappointed.

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