Three years ago, MAGIC MIKE, a Hollywood movie about male entertainers, better known as strippers, was a big hit, and I encouraged people to see it. I can't do the same for the sequel now in theaters.
The first MAGIC MIKE was a hit not just because it was full of eye candy for women but also because it had a heartfelt script starring Channing Tatum as a hunky stripper who was looking for a woman who wanted him for more than just his body.
The talented Tatum is back for the second film (MAGIC MIKE XXL), but the script is laughable, little more than an excuse to show well built, half naked men doing elaborate bump and grind dance routines.
When we first see Channing Tatum as Magic Mike, he's retired from the male entertainment business and is working as a furniture designer.
But when he breaks out dancing in the middle of his workshop, we can see he's still got the moves. And, in fact, his entertaining performance may be the best reason to see this otherwise awful movie.
We never know why, but the woman he fell in love with in the first film has left him, so he decides to join his old stripping buddies for one last performance before they all give up their career as entertainers.
How many times have we all seen that tired "one last time" plot device before?
Female emcee to a crowd of women: "Are you ready to be worshipped? Are you ready to be exalted?"
How about: "Are you ready to be patronized?" Really, the dance choreography may be creative, but it's also demeaning to the women who toss hundreds of dollar bills at the gyrating dancers.
Male Stripper 1: We're like healers of some kind.
Male Stripper 2: Yes, man.
This movie is shameless. So be warned: You may well be entertained by these terrific looking male dancers, but don't expect anything more than that from MAGIC MIKE EXTRA EXTRA LARGE.
Another sex comedy that opened this week is THE OVERNIGHT about a young couple that has recently moved to L.A. where they are quickly befriended by a rich couple in their new neighborhood.
Things quickly get strange in some pretty surprising ways.
Wife: I think we've reached that point in the evening where we should leave before anything crazy happens.
Husband: This is California; maybe this is what dinner parties are like.
THE OVERNIGHT offers full frontal male nudity and plenty of marijuana and alcohol. But while the four actors are good, the film itself lacks any real substance.