OPINION: ‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’ struggles to take flight


Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros

Eight years after the release of “Magic Mike XXL,” Steven Soderberg and company have brought us “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” the last piece to the Magic Mike trilogy.

We catch up with Mike after the events of the second movie. He is working odd jobs around Miami when he meets Max, the soon-to-be ex-wife of a wealthy Englishman, who enlists him to put on one last strip show at a famous theater in London.

Throughout the showing, I was really waiting for it to start. Mike going to London has no build up. He spends one night with Max, and then they are on a plane. The plot continued but had no real exposition and no buy-ins.

The entire movie felt like a trailer. There was a clear story to follow, but it was disconnected. It was like someone finished a puzzle but didn’t bother to line the pieces together.

While this sounds like an odd thing to complain about when the trilogy’s real focus is the male physique and stripping, the first two films still tell good, coherent stories while showcasing the strip shows.

The first two films also flow well. Here, the editing was confusing. I understand cutting in the middle of a scene to go to a flashback but just cutting scenes together to give Channing Tatum’s abs more screen time feels cheap and is a little disorienting.

During the big show, Mike is shown backstage, changing after his big finale. Now, in a normal movie, you would expect some sort of action to occur during this. Maybe Mike’s co-star is going to unexpectedly hit on him or maybe Max will rush backstage for their big reunion? No, the camera cuts backstage, shows us Channing Tatum for about 6 seconds, and then just cuts back to the show.

“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is also missing a solid ensemble that worked really well in the first two installments. They recruit about 15 dancers to be in Mike’s show and two of them get first names and none of them have any substantial lines.

I would have loved to meet a new cast or at least be given a reason to invest in them and care about them having a successful show. It was odd to have a group of guys stand silently while the plot happened in front of them.

It’s not great, and it’s really not even good. For waiting almost a decade, I expected better. Still, it’s entertaining enough to watch once as closure to the Magic Mike trilogy if you need it.