Opening July 1, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Magic Mike, the follow-up to Steven Soderbergh’s surprise 2012 hit about a troupe of male strippers taking the world by storm. That film’s assistant director Gregory Jacobs (Wind Chill) takes over where Soderbergh left off, while original star Channing Tatum returns as the eponymous Magic Mike. Three years after he left the stripping lifestyle behind, Mike is persuaded to join the remaining Kings of Tampa – sadly, sans Matthew McConaughey’s scene-stealing Dallas – for one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach.
While Magic Mike XXL’s initial attractions may be obvious – a good-looking, nearly-naked cast and Tatum’s legendary dance moves – returning writer Reid Carolin’s narrative actually digs way beneath all that baby oil. Amidst the glistening flesh is a story about genuine male friendship – something rarely explored in any real detail by Hollywood – reinvention and, ultimately, redemption; all with a kick-ass soundtrack and killer abs. It’s eye candy for the soul.
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panelists Comments:
Pam Grady: Channing Tatum’s dance moves alone ought to be worth the price of admission to Magic Mike XXL, a palate cleanser in the midst of the summer’s bloated action blockbusters.
Sheila Roberts: My pick is Magic Mike XXL. Gregory Jacobs delivers a high energy, genuinely moving tale about friendship, leaving the past behind, and finding the courage to reinvent yourself.
Title: Magic Mike
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Running Time: 115 minutes
Shooting Location(s): Georgia and South Carolina
Principal Cast: Channing Tatum, Amber Heard, Adam Rodriguez, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Jada Pinkett Smith, Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Glover, Michael Strahan
Screenwriter: Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin
Production Company: Iron Horse Entertainment (II)
Distributor: Warner Bros.
AWFJ Movie of the Week Panel Members: Nikki Baughan, Anne Brodie, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, MaryAnn Johanson, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Rebecca Murray, Kristy Puchko, Carrie Rickey, Sheila Roberts, Jeanne Wolf, Sara Vizcarrando.
Other Movies Opening the Week of June 29-July 5, 2015:
Magic Mike XXL
Faith of Our Fathers
Edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, AWFJ.org Associate Editor