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70 Reasons Magic Mike XXL Is One of the Worst Movies of the Year


[Editor’s note: Another of our contributors also really liked Magic Mike XXL, if you’d like to go think about how great it is instead.]

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Magic Mike XXL is not a good movie. And not, not a good movie the way The Room or Trespass is a really bad movie, but one that is really fun to laugh at. This is Left Behind levels of terrible. Two hours of sitting either bored or shocked by how bad it really is.

Sure there are a few things I liked, such as:

• Matt Bomer singing Heaven.
• Matt Bomer being a touch healer.
• Matt Bomer dancing in a suit and then stripping out of that suit, while continuing to sing.
• Seeing Donald Glover rap.
• Seeing Donald Glover sing.
• Seeing Donald Glover say a few funny lines, often to Matt Bomer.
• Seeing diverse images of women enjoying sex and sexuality.
• Knowing Hollywood understands that they need to offer more movies targeting women.
• Jada Pinkett Smith being a really cool and really tough business woman.
• Jada Pinkett Smith talking to the women in the audience, rather than the men.
• Jada Pinkett referring to women as Goddesses (although that got old really fast) who deserve pleasure and to be pleasured.
• Hearing someone say they only want to make their customers happy and make them smile.
• Joe Manganiello’s playful convenience store dance, intended to make a woman smile (I just hope you picked up after yourself or gave her a very nice tip for messing up her store).

But, I stand by my opinion that Magic Mike XXL is one of the worst movies of the year. How bad is it? XXL bad:

• The opening sequence showing Channing Tatum’s furniture does not set the right tone. It’s really slow and sad, and his furniture is actually pretty ugly.
• Dallas storyline…I’ll get back to this when we address Jada Pinkett Smith, but I would have much rather he actually be dead, and their reunion been a Big Chill moment, instead of just reminding everyone “Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar and did True Detective since the first one. He doesn’t need this stupid movie!”
• It seems to me that this is a hotel public pool the boys meet at…which is a weird place to catch up. But, I swear I saw some kids in and around that pool, and one of the guys also seemed to be naked. I looked to see if he might be wearing a thong, and he didn’t seem to be. So was there a naked guy in a pool with children they didn’t know?
• Helmet girl. Just why is there a girl in a bikini we’ve never met hanging out with the guys in their hotel room, wearing a pink helmet, head butting their chest like a bull and bouncing on the bed? Who is she and why is she in that scene?
• Mike’s big professional problem is that he can’t afford to pay his one employee health care. Okay, a lot of small business owners can’t do that…that’s why we passed the Affordable Care Act! But I was never sure if he’s doing relatively well or relatively bad?
• Channing Tatum is a good dancer and seeing him finally dancing (almost 15 minutes in) for about a minute and half was fun. I wish that happened more in the movie (especially without having to use a woman as a prop). It does not.
• Yogurt truck. First, not an original idea! There already are a lot of probiotic yogurt trucks (and healthy frozen yogurt places too). But guess what…most food trucks can’t comfortably sit 6 guys, so I think his financial problems may be the fact that he bought too big a truck.
• Channing Tatum’s phone. My friend was going to count how many times during this movie he checked his phone. When they threw it out the window, we lost that bit.
• These guys barely have any money and everyone is just fine with throwing smartphones out the window!
• I think it is great that the guys are comfortable being friends with drags queens and transexuals. But the scene of them taking part in the drag show seemed kinda mean-spirited towards those same drag queens and transexuals…especially having them get a bigger reaction by barely doing anything, compared to the two who were actually part of the show. And, seems a little ridiculous that this group always has to be the center of attention.
• The entire bonding by the fire scene was completely wasted because none of these guys come close to (or are moving in the right direction) of following their vague dreams.
• Ken and Mike’s little fight, and Ken quoting Oprah, was a useless attempt to create non-existent tension. No character development and I literally had to ask who “Mercedes was”…because Ken’s wife isn’t named in the first film. Does Ken being divorced have anything to do with his character or plot? Nope.
• I understand not wanting to show someone’s face right away during a meet cute, but if you have an entire conversation with a person we’ve never seen, it is just frustrating too watch. Had Amber Heard’s hair not always been messy, I wouldn’t have known who she was.
• All the small talk seem like improv scenes…and they are all awkward and boring, rather than the charming moments we’re supposed to think they are.
• Why would you have a character say they are good looking, stress how handsome they are visually, but shoot them from the back in a long shot so we get a good peripheral view of a messy food truck. This might be the one time to nail a beauty shot.
• There are at least two scenes when people lay on food prep areas of this truck. That is disgusting and makes me think these guys should not get their yogurt truck up and running.
• Every time Richie talks about how women can’t take his penis, because its so big, is absolutely gross.
• If you are going to claim to be a movie made to appeal to the (heterosexual) female gaze, stop insulting each other by calling your friends pussies.
• While we’re at it, all the cursing is forced, unfunny, and out-of-place in this movie, so just cut it out. It is unnecessary.
• At least take your shoes off if you are going to lay on a kitchen counter! Seriously!
• Apparently, seeing a kid die from recreational drug use has not prevented these guys from enjoying Molly? And i can’t vouch for this because I didn’t notice it, but apparently the driver who turns down Molly switches places with one of the people who took Molly, while still experiencing the effects of Molly.
• I really hate that they said they were going to a convention. A convention is something businesses go to to showcase their product or service. This was a show, and there seemed to be no networking going on. Also, they keep saying this is their last hurrah, no more strip club now that Dallas is gone. Who goes to a convention when you’re closing your business? Just make it a competition, because that is clearly how the filmmakers are approaching this stupid road trip anyway…And throw in some prize money so they can open that yogurt truck.
• Channing Tatum is so charmless in this movie! Why did he even need to come along and ruin the otherwise fun vibe?
• Stop throwing things out the window!
• They bring up wanting to create new routines and then they just drop that storyline for about an hour!
• Every single time these guys fight is so phony!
• Who carries an engagement ring around in their wallet after being turned down? If you’re having money problems, you might want to return it and get some money back.
• There is no way a dance club like the one run by Jada Pinkett Smith could be run in a residential house.
• I love Donald Glover in this movie (he is one of the few parts that works). But his dialogue suggests women come out because they are so unsatisfied and feel unsexy. It’s still placing the neediness on women, whether they are the strippers or the audience.
• Yes Channing Tatum…you are using Jada Pinkett Smith’s Rome, and you are a jerk for doing it. But, I don’t believe the filmmakers think Mike is a jerk or that what he is doing is using her. Which makes that exchange even worse. Furthermore, they are so mad at Dallas for walking out on them, but turns out Mike did the same exact thing to her 8 years ago and that is completely forgivable?
• Apparently statewide, everyone knowns Magic Mike
• Mike uses women in his act like real dolls. One of these women will get hurt some day with a twisted neck or broken back and then he’ll be sorry.
• Why is it perfectly alright to simulate sex acts on female audience members so long as he’s “dancing” when the rule of stripping is supposedly no touching.
• Love Mike Bomer and Donald Glover being given a scene for bonding. But their conversation might have been one of the worse written scenes in the entire movie, and it had the potential to be one of the best.
• No Donald Glover, simply asking what I want would not make you my fantasy man, and women shouldn’t be grateful for such a meaningless gesture. And assuming all the women in your club are fragile and feel unloved or under-appreciated is an offensive way to keep women in the submissive role.
• There wasn’t a line by Andie MacDowell in this movie that sounded slightly realistic.
• Is Amber Heard friends with these people? Because she seems to hate everyone she’s partying with.
• Did Matt Bomer suddenly start using a southern accent in MacDowell’s presence?
• More Bomer singing please. Let him actually perform a little bit and go big. And don’t have people join in like this is a sing-along. It’s his big moment!
• I now stand by the belief (from Orange is the New Black) that red velvet is not a real thing and therefore explaining that you are eating cake alone because “it’s red velvet” is stupid.
• It was at this point that I realized, I hadn’t even registered the name of the character Amber Heard played…because she was so unimportant to the plot. If she didn’t exist, the movie would be exactly the same.
• There may be no more vile comment in a movie than asking Richie “did you bang it” (as in could her vagina fit his huge penis). Oh wait, calling her vagina your glass slipper was WORSE!
• Apparently showing even the slightest interest in a female’s desires will earn you a free car rental! Second car in less tan 24 hours from a woman who should not be won over by these fools.
• And if she is now Richie’s soulmate, why doesn’t Andie MacDowell come with Amber Heard?
• How well known are these knuckleheads that a hotel concierge would know (without an introduction) who they are and have memorized what their schedule is?
• It came to my attention that we are about an hour and a half in and we have barely seen our leads dance, let alone strip. Do we get to see their rehearsal dancing? No, instead we are treated to a stupid, poorly edited montage.
• You make the entire trip and don’t register in advance? Who are you guys, the Griswolds? Is WallyWorld closed?! And again…why are you even participating in this Convention. What are they getting out of all this effort?
• What person goes to take a nap and leaves your hotel door open? That seemed like an error the filmmaker just didn’t want to fix?
• Is this really the best use of Elizabeth Banks? To play another host? It’s so repetitive of what we just saw her do in Pitch Perfect.
• The guys “group dance” is them walking, moving their hips a little bit, and posing with big stupid smiles.
• Tarzan plays a painting Zorro type? Okay, good choice (I guess?). But he still has that Dog the Bounty Hunter look and still goes by the name of Tarzan. If he wants to change his image and try something knew, why not give him a little make-over Cinderella style and put a little effort into the rejuvenation of you career. You aren’t destroying the brand by ditching Tarzan…we all know it isn’t your real name.
• The less said about the “candy dance” the better. It was just gross. I understand these women come expecting certain interplay with strippers, but food is different. Food requires planning, negotiating, and specific, written consent. He ruined their clothes with that whipped cream spray simulated ejaculation.
• Anyone else notice that it would be really hard to see what is happening on stage because of how often they walk onto the floor?
• There is no cohesion with these acts. Pick a theme guys. And the entire show is close to 20 minutes. Too long…some of these acts we don’t need to see.
• Donald Glover and Matt Bomer both sing…great. Glover, doesn’t really have an act of his own though and does not get to strip or dance…bad.
• Richie, instead of playing the sexy fireman, plays Christian Grey and simulates S&M sex in front of an entire theater (something I’m sure she was not prepared for) by putting a woman in a swing and putting her feet up, while one of the most sexist songs plays with lyrics like “I want to violate you.” Yeah, every woman’s marriage fantasy dream come true.
• And why was Richie so annoyed that there was a Twilight parody if he’s doing a 50 Shades of Grey parody
• And why not let the poor girl get out the harness rather than keeping her legs up for the rest of the show?
• It really annoyed me that they brought Amber Heard up on stage while she was saying no…wrong message.
• In general, but especially with Channing Tatum and Stephen Boss’s last number, a lot of these dances seem to simulate not just sex, but rape. Holding women down, flipping their bodies from top to bottom, pulling their hips closer and then opening their legs up. It just feels bad to watch this in such a public forum with people laughing and shouting. It feels like if she didn’t like it, she would be considered the wet blanket.
• I have no idea if these guys made any real money, but they got their truck back…just in time for their dates to go buy frozen custard? Hey, we have a truck full of frozen yogurt in a business we are trying to start for trendy people like you!
• Did this venture improve any of their lives whatsoever? No idea! I don’t even know if Mike still has a business when he gets home.
• This has one of the most abrupt and unsatisfying endings…so bad, I thought “there has to be an end credit scene.” Apparently not.
• The music is generally unmemorable, unlike the first film
• The movie often looks really, really bad, and I was shocked to realize Stephen Soderbergh was the cinematographer.
• The script has so many storylines brought up and never even re-addressed, I was confused most of the movie.
• They are marketing this as a movie to appeal to the female gaze, and really, this a man’s idea of what women must want…and the filmmaker’s interpretation of what women want and need is more often than not, pretty offensive.
• Not enough DANCING to justify how stupid this movie is.
• What does the XXL even mean? I know it’s a penis joke but it isn’t in reference to a thing in the movie.
• We are getting a third one?

Lesley Coffin is a New York transplant from the Midwest. She is the New York-based writer/podcast editor for Filmoria and film contributor at The Interrobang. When not doing that, she’s writing books on classic Hollywood, including Lew Ayres: Hollywood’s Conscientious Objector and her new book Hitchcock’s Stars: Alfred Hitchcock and the Hollywood Studio System.

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