When it comes to sequels, I often wonder "Why?" In this case the answer is easy to find. In fact, around half the population could tell you exactly why making Magic Mike XXL was a great idea.

Toned six-packs and hilarious strip routines turned Magic Mike into one of the surprise hits of 2012. So while Magic Mike XXL keeps the same formula, the target market - women on a girls' night out - are unlikely to be concerned by the lack of originality.

Magic Mike XXL starts three years after Mike (Tatum) has quit stripping to focus on his furniture design company. Steven Soderbergh, who directed the original, is cinematographer and editor this time, handing the director duties to long-time assistant director and co-producer Gregory Jacobs. Missing are Matthew McConaughey and Brit Alex Pettyfer.

Matt Bomber in a scene from Magic Mike XXL.
Matt Bomber in a scene from Magic Mike XXL.

Their absence has left the rest of the Kings of Tampa team contemplating retirement, but before they hang up their G-strings for good they decide on a road trip to a stripper convention for one last performance.

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After convincing Mike to come along, they head out on the road, encountering Jada Pinkett Smith's strip club owner and Andie MacDowell's newly divorced Southern belle among others.

It's all a bit cheesy and try-hard - which is probably fitting given this is a film about male strippers.

There's less stripping at the beginning of Magic Mike XXL than in the first film, which showcased the amusing and cringe-worthy routines at the top before focusing on Mike's pre-midlife crisis. This time the soul-searching takes place during the first half as the boys on the road trip contemplate their futures and final performance.

Don't panic, ladies. Channing Tatum happily humps his way through a few raunchy dances to keep you interested through to the grand finale, which is noticeably more professional and glossy than the high school production look of part one. Do we need another Magic Mike film? Not really, but gee, it's good fun.

Cast

: Channing Tatum, Elizabeth Banks, Amber Heard

Director:

Gregory Jacobs

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Running Time:

115 mins

Rating:

R16 (Offensive language, drug use and sexual themes)

Verdict:

Not quite as much fun as the original, but still good fun.

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- TimeOut