In Magic Mike's Last Dance from Warner Bros. Pictures, Channing Tatum returns to shake his groove thing one last time. The third installment also sees Steven Soderbergh return to the director's chair and regular series screenwriter Reid Carolin penning the screenplay.
The last time we saw Mike, he enjoyed life with friends following a victory at the Myrtle Beach male stripping convention. Eight years later, following a failed business deal, he became broke and began working as a bartender in Florida. One day while working, Mike catches the eye of wealthy socialite Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek Pinault).
Impressed with his assets, Maxandra makes Mike an offer he can't refuse. For what he hopes will be one last hurrah, Mike heads to London, unaware that Maxandra has an agenda all her own. With everything on the line, once Mike discovers what she truly has in mind, will he and the roster of hot and talented dancers he'll have to whip into shape--be able to pull it off?
One of the first things a potential viewer should know before stepping into the theater for Magic Mike's Last Dance is that the film is light on scenes of stripping for the core female audience. That's not to say there aren't any gyrating men in the movie (the ladies will appreciate the dance at the beginning when Mike seduces Maxandra. Instead, Tatum and company have crafted a film about chasing your dreams.
What stood out most about the film was its narrator (whom I won't reveal). The voice gives us an almost fairytale-like vibe allowing us to buy into the story of Mike and Maxandra and how they were destined to get together. Hayek and Tatum have excellent organic chemistry and the most engaging moments in the film. Fans of the reality show Finding Magic Mike will also recognize familiar faces and elements.
Overall I liked the film. However, my biggest gripe is that we need more returning characters. While we do get a Zoom call reunion between Tito (Adam Rodriguez), Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), and Ken (Matt Bomer), I was hoping they would show up during the third act. The film was initially intended to be released digitally on HBO Max. However, after receiving positive feedback from test screenings, Warner Bros. Pictures decided to give the movie a theatrical release.
I'm sure cinephiles will pick up on the pacing and structure of this decision. Additionally, having seen Magic Mike Live in Vegas, my wife and I both pointed out that the film's big number at the end is the Vegas show but shortened.
Despite this, Magic Mike's Last Dance is a harmless watch. While the film does lack the fun times of its predecessor, it's still a good time out and a solid close to the trilogy.
Final Grade : B-