I Regret To Inform You That ‘Magic Mike’s Last Dance’ Doesn’t Make Any Sense
Instead of watching the Super Bowl, I decided to go and see Magic Mike’s Last Dance, and I can’t believe that I regret it? Not that I would have rather watched football, but that I would have rather done anything else other than watching this movie that made no sense. It’s beyond me how a movie could veer so far off course as part of a franchise where men are strippers who take their craft very seriously and dance to iconic songs, but that’s what happened with Magic Mike’s Last Dance.
Now, before you say to me, “Rachel, these movies don’t make sense anyway,” this one went the extra mile to really just go off the rails right from the jump. The Magic Mike franchise plays on Channing Tatum’s own dancing history with the appeal of male strippers, and while the first movie is the one that makes the most sense, the world agrees (yes, I am saying we all agree, sorry) that Magic Mike XXL is the best.
So, when Last Dance came around, with Tatum returning as Mike Lane, we all had hopes that it would be a great finale. The reality is that the movie is oddly rushed, misunderstands how … well, everything works, and has a plethora of characters with no names. It’s wild! Directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Reid Carolin, the movie just … doesn’t work. And even when it is fun, it reminds you how un-fun the entire movie has been prior to those moments.
That’s upsetting given the enjoyment that Magic Mike XXL brought audiences, and it also feels pointless. Maybe I am being too judgmental, but let me break down some of the more outrageous moments throughout Magic Mike’s Last Dance.
Related: Magic Mike’s Last Dance Is About the Price of Pleasure on The Escapist
Max and Mike’s whole relationship
Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek) joins the Magic Mike lore as Mike’s new love interest. Because of the pandemic (yes, the pandemic even took down Magic Mike), Mike loses his furniture business and he’s now working as a bartender to keep afloat. While he’s working at Max’s party, one of his former clients (from his dancing days) recognizes him and tells Max to get a dance from Mike, so she tries to pay him to come out of retirement. Despite people still cleaning up the house, Mike does a private dance for her that apparently dickmatizes her so much that she invites him to move to London with her where she already has a job picked out for him.
They knew each other after one dance and one romp in the bedroom, and suddenly Mike has a new job as director for a West End show. Why did I spent four years studying theatre when I could have just done this, I guess? Anyway, they go to London where Max says no more sex, you’re now the director of this show I hate, and throughout the entire movie they just … fall in love I guess? It’s lust. They fall in lust, there’s a lot of weird dialogue, and the end of the movie includes a dance in the pouring rain (on stage) where we relive the relationship we just watched while Mike fake stage humps a ballerina. It’s … weird!
Anyway, these two are in love, and we’re supposed to believe it despite the movie giving us nothing. Okay!
No one gets theatre!!
Now this is where the movie really loses me: the theatre aspect. So Max brings Mike to London with her and won’t tell him what this “job” is that she’s giving him. The reality is that her ex-husband (who cheated on her) left her this theatre that has a show that just always plays. As revenge against him and his family’s legacy, Max decides to go ahead ruin the show, called Isabel Ascendant. She wants to, instead, trick audiences into watching a strip show.
She tells Mike that he has creative freedom after watching him do one dance in her home in Miami, and so Mike gets to work destroying the name of theatre along with everyone else involved. They set up Isabel Ascendant as a show where the main character uses these dancers to fulfill her fantasy of a life outside of her stuffy society. The problem, though, is that … they abandon the idea within the first scene of the show we actually do get to see?
And no one knows how theatre works, how the rights to shows work, and it’s just frustrating to see! Not to mention the rain!!! There is so much rain on this stage with a weird love dance that would have, for sure, trashed the entire stage. So there’s that!
Does no one have names?!
One of the biggest things about this movie that really just doesn’t make sense is that no one has names?! We don’t know the name of any of the dancers that Mike is working with, although apparently Juliette Motamed’s character is named Hannah???? Motamed’s character is the lead in the play before Mike shows up and then is the MC of the entire last act, and we never get her name enough to remember it.
This could have worked better (maybe) if we knew anyone? If someone just said like, “Hey Chad, stand over there,” at any point?
Maybe if Max had better wi-fi and we could actually see the Zoom call between Mike and his old dancing friends, this would have been more fun. But alas.
(Featured image: Warner Bros.)
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