13th Feb2023

‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’ Review

by Alex Ginnelly

Stars: Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Caitlin Gerard, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Alan Cox, Nancy Carroll, Christopher Villiers, Vicki Pepperdine | Written by Reid Carolin | Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Magic Mike’s Last Dance sees Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh back together to finish what they started 11 years ago. This time, however, most of the magic seems to have gone, as too has the entertainment.

After the COVID pandemic Mike (Channing Tatum) has fallen on hard times, his business has gone under and he now finds himself bartending a rich charity event. After the event, he meets Max (Salma Hayek), the hostess of said event, who needs a spark added to her life. That spark comes in the form of a dance, a dance Mike gives her that will finally give her a sense of purpose, a sense of life she hasn’t felt in years. That spark will lead them both on a journey to London, where Max convinces Mike to put on a show, one that she believes will give others the same spark Mike gave to her.

A problem I found right away was, no matter how sexy that first dance was, that first spark, there was never anything after it. In the first dance there was a connection, a spark that seems to be the start of something special, but that leads nowhere, there is nothing after that which shows us there is any true connection between these two people. I never once, after that first meeting, felt like these were two people meant to be together, meant to do something together or meant to have raw sexual tension together. This caused the second act to really slow everything down, disrupting the entire pace and connection to the story and chancers. In truth, in the sexy stripper movie, there’s just too much talking, most of it being tied up in that second act, and no one is paying to see Magic Mike talk.

After their intel meeting, Mike travels to London with Max to put on the greatest strip show London has seen, perhaps the world has seen, and in the end, many will be asking if that show is not just the live show that has been created from the first two films. In a way, yes, the live show is the best thing for you to see if it is that Mike Magic you are looking for. The film never hit those heights of what everyone expects from these films, even the third act felt like an advert for the live show, rather than a conclusion to the story in its own right.

Through the second act Mike assembles his team of dancers who will put on his show, however, each dancer we meet, each new character introduced, never felt like a character, only an objective used for the film’s plot, which has never been these movie’s strengths. I couldn’t tell you another character’s name, a quality I like about them, or what makes them unique, the only character you feel you know is Mike, yet that comes from the previous two films. The strengths come in two scenes, the first dance between Mike and Max and in the third act when another dance takes centre stage. Between these two points however, it’s a struggle to get through. The pacing is just as jarring as the voice-over that felt like a GSCE creative writing project and not a good one at that.

In the end, Magic Mike’s Last Dance becomes a huge disappointment that had all the right people, at the right time, doing all the wrong things.

** 2/5

Magic Mike’s Last Dance is in cinemas now.


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