There are supremely talented actors who make the project interesting by their mere presence. Others, almost the majority, need really appropriate circumstances. The specific role, filmmakers who know how to use them, etc. Amber Heard is one of those, and unfortunately his filmography is full of cases where he did not have the necessary role or the director with whom he met did not have the day -a pity that he got the grayest John Carpenter in ‘Locked Up’-.
But it has had its moments, enough not to discard it outright – now, if you want to discard it for other reasons, it is your right. Zack Snyder clearly saw something in her to become part of the DC Universe from him, and the truth is that in ‘Aquaman’ it works. He also saw something in her Steven Soderbergh -who has always had a keen eye for casting- to be part of ‘Magic Mike XXL’, one of the most underrated sequels of the last decade and that we have available on HBO Max.
dance and camaraderie
Soderbergh specifically did not direct this sequel to his film ‘Magic Mike’, but he did have a hand in both photography and editing, which he signs under pseudonyms. Gregory Jacobs picked up the baton for this unlikely sequel to the hit of channing tatumperhaps with not everything in his favor to succeed but has managed to become a cult sensation thanks to his considered look at these characters and the world of entertainment workers.
For the misplaced, ‘Magic Mike’ followed a group of strippers from Tampa, Florida, and Tatum plays the title character of the show who wants to retire at the top and seek a simple and stable life, with a partner and working as a carpenter . This is how we see him at the start of ‘Magic Mike XXL’, three years later, but not everything is as satisfactory as expected. It works, but. Suddenly, his former stripper group asks him coming out of retirement for one last big dance at the big guild convention in Myrtle Beach.
From there, the film throws itself fully into the road trip genre, with a plot that fits on a post-it because its interest lies elsewhere. Jacobs creates fabulous moments of intimacy between these characters, which could be absolutely ridiculous taken out of context, but both the sequel and the original film take care to watch with curiosity and affection. In the small stops along the way he creates moments of male camaraderieof relationships that need to be repaired and of quirky self reflection.
‘Magic Mike XXL’: hedonistic, hilarious and tender
All this without giving up what should be obvious in a film like this. While I’ve said it doesn’t make them absolutely ridiculous, it does leave some room for them to be hilarious and absurd. And sexy too. The dances result a whole show that is rolling with incredible taste, maintaining eroticism while adding a point of hedonistic fun. Manage that with the moments of vulnerability, which leave interesting reflections on the entertainment world in general -not only this sector-, noting Soderbergh’s cunning metanarrative there.
There’s no better time to show off your fitness gains than an impressive musical number in a store while the ‘I Want It That Way‘ from Backstreet Boys. It is exuberant, delirious, funnybut also full of heart and tenderness for the characters and the bond they form.
Another example is Channing Tatum’s triumphant performance, which couples physical presence with meditated vulnerability. He manages to have chemistry with everyone, including an Amber Heard in a secondary role as a supposed new romantic interest who manages to be in a successful register, giving more crumb to the role than he Cody Horn got in the original.
It was an impossible balance to achieve, but ‘Magic Mike XXL’ rises to the challenge to fully justify its existence. A jewel that is an ode to friendship, to the hardness of continuing in what you are passionate about and about the fractures in our relationships. a stripper movie It didn’t have to be so subtle and profound, but it does. without neglecting the party.