weekend binge

This weekend, liven up life with some all-male nudity

Magic Mike XXL

Welcome to the Weekend Binge. Every week, we’ll suggest a binge-able title designed to keep you from getting too stir crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.

The Skimpy Double Feature: Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL

News arrived this week revealing that actor Channing Tatum will re-team with director Steven Soderbergh to strip down to his skivvies one last time in a closeout to the Magic Mike trilogy. Why not celebrate with an equally scantily-clad double feature?

The release of Magic Mike marks a watershed moment when Hollywood finally figured out that audiences love male nudity and has the good sense to feature some of Tinseltown’s best-looking men–Matthew McConaugheyChanning TatumMatt Bomer and Alex Pettyferas a group of strippers with big dreams. Magic Mike explores the wild crowd at Xquisite, an all-male strip club in Tampa. Of course, it’s not all glitz and glamour: the angsty Mike (Tatum) dreams of starting his own business, while former stripper Dallas (McConaughey), struggles to keep Xquisite open. For newcomer Adam (Pettyfer), stripper life offers plenty of sex, drugs and beautiful women, not to mention no shortage of danger.

Magic Mike XXL reunites most of the cast for a follow-up set three years after the original. Mike has finally become a successful businessman when he’s visited by a few of his former stripper buddies. Reinvigorated by friendship and a few old tunes, Mike opts to come out of retirement for one last stripper road trip with his buds. Of course, a return to the strip club also brings the return of old dangers.

Much as with Showgirls or HustlersMagic Mike and Magic Mike XXL promise the backstage dirt on all those Vegas-type revues. It’s not all hard-hitting drama, but then again, it’s not really supposed to be: these kinds of movies are more about glamour, beauty and sparkling production numbers than human psychology. Tatum–whose own experiences as a dancer inspired the story–does some of his best work here, getting to show off his moves and range alongside his co-stars. If we have one complaint, it’s that the movies don’t quite pay enough respect to the scores of gay male dancers hitting the stage (and the stripper pole) in these types of shows. We hope that when Magic Mike’s Last Dance hits the screen, that’s a problem the movies will have remedied.

Magic Mike  and Magic Mike XXL stream on HBO Max, Amazon, YouTube & VUDU.