Synopsis: Mike takes to the stage again following a business deal that went bust, leaving him broke and taking bartender gigs in Florida. Mike heads to London with a wealthy socialite who lures him with an offer he can’t refuse.
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Salma Hayek Pinault, Channing Tatum, Kylie Shea
Channing Tatum knows how to maximize opportunities. The original 2012 Magic Mike film explored the life of Mike Lane (Tatum), a stripper from Florida, loosely based on Tatum’s own experiences. Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh made the film for $7 million, and it went on to make over $160 million. The success at the box office didn’t simply mean a sequel— we got that in Magic Mike XXL — it launched a stage musical in London, Tatum’s Las Vegas show, and his overall popularity.
Magic Mike is such a successful franchise that, quite frankly, just hearing the song Pony by Ginuwine makes you think of the film.
It would stand to reason that another movie would be made, and the title alone suggests that it’s the last in the series. They do say good things come in threes.
Magic Mike’s Last Dance references the Covid-19 pandemic and its adverse effect on Mike’s business. To make ends meet, Mike finds himself bartending at high society events. On one such occasion, he meets Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek Pinault). Maxandra is currently separated from her very wealthy husband and unhappy with her life. They say money can’t buy happiness, and Maxandra proves that.
A referral from one of Maxandra’s guests leads her to get a ‘dance’ from Mike. Apparently, after all of these years, he’s still ‘got it’ because the next thing you know, they are off to London, where she wants him to choreograph a show. Well, she’s spontaneous; we must give her that.
The relationship between Mike and Maxandra is supposed to be professional, but if the trailer didn’t give it away, simple common sense lets you know otherwise.
To his credit, Tatum does a very good job with this role, especially in the non-dancing sequences. His ‘fish out of water’ mentality is on point as he must not only take on the direction of a show but mingle with Maxandra’s uppity friends. He never really loses who he is. It’s not as if he goes to England and dusts off his Florida nature; instead, he greets a room full of his new staff with a very solid ‘Sup.’
Salma Hayek Pinault is a fun addition to the cast. The Academy Award-nominated actress seems to have fun in this role. Some of the scenes between the two are a little over the top, but some are very tender and sweet, as her character is out to prove her worth.
Steven Soderbergh is back at the helm. The Ocean’s 11 director even adds a scene in the movie that seems inspired by that film. This finale may have faltered with another director, but just like Allstate, the film is in good hands.
Just as ‘Magic’ Mike has grown as a character, this series has matured. The first one established the world and the character and gave strong insight into that lifestyle. The second one essentially capitalized on the first. We call that Sequel Money!
The third is a natural progression. And like we have seen with the growth of this franchise, the film takes the show from a strip club to a theatre and puts on, what many will feel, is a stronger overall performance.
The choreography in the film, especially in the third act, is outstanding. Dance is such a beautiful art form, and it is on full display here. Taking members of the cast from the London musical and putting them in this film is what I call a no-brainer.
This film is certified G.N.O., aka Girls’ Night Out, but as a heterosexual man, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The movie isn’t perfect, and some scenes are overdramatic, but when it comes to this film, there are two groups of people: those who could care less about anything written in this review and will see it regardless and those on the fence. To the latter, it won’t be the best movie you’ve ever seen, but you won’t regret seeing it.
Magic Mike’s Last Dance is a fitting theatrical conclusion to an overall entertaining series.