Tatum’s Still Got It In Underwhelming Conclusion

Mar 3, 2023

Home Movie Reviews Magic Mike’s Last Dance Review: Tatum’s Still Got It In Underwhelming Conclusion

Magic Mike’s Last Dance doesn’t reach the heights of XXL, nor does it have the same energy & sex appeal, but it does offer some enjoyment regardless.

Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek Pinault in Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Steven Soderbergh returns to direct Magic Mike’s Last Dance after leaving Magic Mike XXL in the capable hands of director Gregory Jacobs, who turned the Magic Mike sequel into one of the most entertaining, memorable films of the last decade. The third film in the Channing Tatum-led franchise is being marketed as Mike’s last hurrah, which the title suggests. That’s probably for the best. Magic Mike’s Last Dance doesn’t reach the heights of XXL, nor does it have the same energy and sex appeal, but it does offer some enjoyment regardless.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance picks up years after the second film. Mike Lane’s (Tatum) furniture business went under because of the pandemic, and he’s been bartending to make ends meet after he quit stripping. While working a fundraiser, Mike meets Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek Pinault), who is throwing the fundraiser and is married to a very rich media mogul. When Maxandra asks Mike to do what he does best, a sensual lap dance turns into something more. Now inspired, Maxandra asks Mike to come with her to London to direct a dance strip show in one of her theaters, changing both of their lives.

Related: Salma Hayek’s Magic Mike 3 Lap Dance Almost Ended In Disaster

Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek Pinault in Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Despite solid performances, an intriguing premise, and the occasionally fun scene, there is a spark that is missing. The film tries to balance the sober message of the first film with the vibrancy of the second, but ends up falling flat in that regard. The Kings of Tampa’s absence, along with the lack of camaraderie and connection with Mike, is heavily felt throughout. Mike is left a bit stranded in London, with only Maxandra to bounce ideas off of, and it becomes a very narrow world to engage with. Somehow, much of the sex appeal and joy is gone, leaving Magic Mike’s Last Dance feeling hollow compared with its predecessors. The world of Magic Mike is pared down to its detriment. Even the humor is few and far between.

The dancers Mike and Maxandra hire are just that, dancers. There is a whole new group of men and none of them have any personality; they barely talk. Mike doesn’t build a friendship with any of them, which could have elevated the film in a number of ways. Even the dances themselves are, save for the first and last, unmemorable. For the most part, the camera doesn’t even linger on them, and the final performance setup is very much a stage show that is largely disconnected from the narrative. It’s like the audience is watching Magic Mike Live and not Magic Mike’s Last Dance. It doesn’t leave one with a sense of satisfaction the way the previous movies (and especially Magic Mike XXL) once did.

That said, there is still enough to enjoy about the film. Channing Tatum’s performance, while muted, is still good. The actor has got a natural charisma that pops off the screen whenever he appears; his presence cannot be ignored, which is why it’s a shame he doesn’t do as much dancing or charming in the film. He can still move, though, and his physicality is such that it brings an assured masculinity alongside a gentle, thoughtful personality. There is no toxicity here, and Tatum’s Mike has always been the better for it. Hayek Pinault is fierce as Maxandra. She commands the attention of an entire room while leaving space for her character to be vulnerable when need be. The supporting cast has a lot less to work with, their characters deprived of any meaningful interactions or dynamic-building with the leads. They’re often saddled with Reid Carolin’s occasionally unsubtle dialogue and, in Jemelia George’s case, an unnecessary voiceover about dance.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance is not a standout in the franchise. As a conclusion to Mike’s story, it’s underwhelming at best. The sizzling energy is gone, and it certainly doesn’t relish in the joy of the fantasy it presents. But Tatum and Hayek Pinault have good enough chemistry and the plot is intriguing enough to keep the audience engaged. They just won’t leave the theater as fulfilled as they were with the two previous films, and that is disappointing.

More: Somebody I Used To Know Review: A Winning Trio Leads Refreshing Rom-Com

Magic Mike’s Last Dance is now playing in theaters. The film is 112 minutes long and rated R for sexual material and language.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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