Magic Mike XXL is The Empire Strikes Back of the Magic Mike Universe. Yes, I am connecting Magic Mike to Star Wars, LOL, because what I’m trying to say is that the sequel is better than the original. The reason why so many of us feel that way about XXL is because it’s a movie that recognises and respects female desire. And in doing so, Magic Mike became more than a film franchise. It is now a proper brand, inspired initially by Channing Tatum’s life story that made it the screen, and is now also a live theatrical experience. A very, very, very good live theatrical experience. I’ve been to Magic Mike in Vegas – it’s sexy and fun and funny and engaging and, for some, most importantly, it is empowering, because it adheres to the truth that the second movie unlocked: that the simple secret to female pleasure is when they feel seen and heard.
Chan and his team are now building on all of that with the upcoming release of Magic Mike’s Last Dance, opening on February 10, 2023, strategically scheduled just in time for Valentine’s Day. They just dropped the trailer today and…
I’m in. And I get that I was always going to be an easy sell given how I feel about XXL so maybe I’m coming at this with a lack of objectivity when I say that this is exactly the kind of fan service that checks all the fun boxes but also advances themes of the story. Magic Mike’s Last Dance follows the Hollywood formula that demands that sequels be bigger – and Last Dance certainly looks bigger: they’re going to London now and they’re scaling up, it’s a proper stage production, which is meta, of course, in that we may be mirroring in the movie what Channing Tatum has done in real life with the Magic Mike brand. But that in itself is a meta-cycle because of how he was living before he became an actor. Those lines were already blurred with the first movie and now they’ve connected at both ends to become a circle.
Because… Last Dance is also giving Step Up, right???
Is it just me feeling those familiar beats? Step Up was Chan’s first big break. And it was a movie about a dancer who falls in love with a dance student and coproduces a dance production with his lover. Which is what he’s doing now in Magic Mike’s Last Dance! Except instead of Jenna Dewan his partner is Salma Hayek and Last Dance appears to be as much her story as it is his.
And all of that checks all of my boxes. Magic Mike and Step Up are having a Last Dance baby? Yes, Channing Tatum, that is exactly what I desire. I feel seen and heard, and now I’m horny.