A financially successful movie should be the the by-product of well-made cinema.
I’ve no issue with production companies spending millions upon millions in order to have a money making film. If the film is good then I won’t complain.
Unfortunately, like most things in life, cinema can be conceited and contrived.
When director Steven Soderbergh released ‘Magic Mike’ in 2012 I thought my worst nightmare had been turned into a film.
I thought it was going to be the type of movie you would expect to see if you all of sudden mixed ‘The Full Monty’ with ‘Sex in the City’ and some baby oil.
I was wrong. Soderbergh’s film was anything but conceited and contrived. Although far from perfect, the film explored the not so glamorous world of a male stripper in Florida.
It’s now 2015 and Soderbergh has handed over the reigns to Gregory Jacobs and sadly, ‘Magic Mike XXL’ is everything I feared ‘Magic Mike’ was going to be three years ago.
I can’t convey how much I disliked this film and it’s just another example of Hollywood taking something that was good and wholesome and turning into something to simply make money from.
Whilst ‘Magic Mike’ was a sort of coming of age film, everything just comes apart in ‘Magic Mike XXL’.
The plot (I am not sure if this word can even be used here) could have been written on the back of a box of matches.
Channing Tatum is a talented actor and I have enjoyed him in many other films but I feel the magic that made Mike memorable is long gone.
There are moments when the film threatens to reignite the palatable humour of the first film but like many commercial buildings in Derry at the minute, the threats are empty.
‘Magic Mike XXL’ lacks the punch enjoyed by the first film and by the time I’d reached the half way mark I’d become so disengaged I started to imagine I was watching ‘Terminator Genysis’ instead.
Unfortunately, the female characters in this film are so thinly drawn that they make long distance runners from Kenya look fat.
Inevitably, because of its ascetically pleasing cast many women (and some men) will flock to see this.
Its value pales into insignificance when put up against 2012’s ‘Magic Mike’. Just because this film might make more money than the first film does not automatically make it a decent piece of cinema.
Channing Tatum is a former male stripper and it would be ridiculous to suggest he would be where he is today if he wasn’t, according to many women and men, very handsome but he is much better than this.
In a recent interview he said he regretted his parts in the film ‘Step Up’. Something tells me he will be saying the exact same thing about this film in years to come.