Don't listen to anyone else. Magic Mike XXL is the bomb, and this one is better than the first for one reason and one reason alone: Jada Pinkett Smith. Channing Tatum owes JPS 5evr because XXL is nothing without her. That liquid walk, that growl, her casual authority when she insists that the men take care of the queens. Please MC my life, JPS.
The little piece of fluff trying to step to Tatum is out of her league.
Thank goodness they found some more men who can seriously dance for this one. The moves are hawt.
Donald Glover is a delight from those puppy dog eyes to those dimples to those skinny abs. Andie MacDowell is pitch-perfect as a sarcastic wealthy Southern divorcée, and Elizabeth Banks seems perfectly at home heading up the convention, her performance a little bubblegum pop of flavor. The crew get to have some personality finally, and their affection for each other makes XXL warmer and sweeter than the original. (I want to say "Parev!" to my compatriot, Big Dick Richie.)
While I appreciated the undercurrent of economic desperation fueling the escapism offered in Dallas' club in the first movie, that theme never matured enough to take it seriously. This movie doesn't even try to be serious--the comeback is such a hoary cliché--but its insistent message that every woman, regardless of age, size, or appearance, is deserving of male attentiveness and her own pleasure seems radical in the Tinder age. So does its devotion to male friendship and its openness about steady male platonic love--so different from the more giddy bromances.
In short: two thumbs up, would tap that thing again, and again, and again.