Magic Mike’s Last Dance

This final outing, if it is a final outing, loses the magic.

We’re in 2023, so we’re getting some more sequels-or threequels as we like to call them. “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” “Creed III,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” and so far, we are hearing extra titles like “The Equalizer 3,” “A Haunting in Venice” (the third Kenneth Branagh Hercule Poirot film), and “Trolls 3.” You know what they say: “Three is a Magic Number.”

For now, we have “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” which is one of those trilogy conclusions (“Dark Phoenix,” “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “Look Who’s Talking Now,” “The Hangover: Part III,” etc.) to go out with a whimper. I liked the first two films, especially since the original gave me the opportunity to meet Joe Manganiello, but this final outing is flat and dumb, and only turns me on when Channing Tatum’s Mike Lane is in bed with Salma Hayek’s Maxandra Mendoza. Sounds like a porn star name, doesn’t it.

Steven Soderbergh may return to direct, but I actually prefer “Ocean’s 13” over this. At least, that film had the right actors in their own territory. It’s only has Mike in the main story line, while his old dance buddies-Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), and Tarzan (Kevin Nash) appear during a zoom chat. That’s it. They don’t come back latter. At least, they do get to cameo.

Mike travels from Miami to London with Maxandra, because she hires him to be a choreographer for her soon-to-be ex-husband’s theater called “The Ratigan.” His name is Roger Ratigan (Alan Cox), so you know you’re in trouble when the movie gives him a Disney name like Ratigan. She’s putting on this dance show as an act of revenge, and Mike is all by the numbers on the dancers he must direct and how she handles this staging.

I know during the last half hour or so, girls, and maybe some guys, will scream at all the muscular bodies of these new recruits during the show. I remember hearing some screams from the audience when the last entry came out in 2015, so maybe they’ll do it here.

But if you’re a smart woman, who doesn’t care for just sex and dance moves, then see the rerelease of “Titanic,” which knows what romance is.

Even if these new recruits are supposed to be new faces, and they probably will be, they have no character development. Just sexy moves. And did somebody want “Singin’ in the Rain” to have sex? Somebody did if they’re willing to have a rainy set with Tatum getting it on with his dance partner.

Soderbergh can provide entertaining movies every year, and “No Sudden Move” is his best of the 2020s so far. But turns out to be equally bleak as “The Laundromat.” He is, without a doubt, a brilliant and ingenious filmmaker, but he misses the mark this time.

He and Hayek lack the kind of chemistry he had with Sandra Bullock last year in “The Lost City,” because they’re bantering about the same problems regarding the show and Hayek’s failed marriage. And that failed marriage, at least, has her daughter (Jemelia George) and her assistant (Ayub Khan-Din) both trying to help keep her in check.

When I left a showing of it, my friends asked me: “How was it?” and I responded: “It didn’t turn me on.” And they laughed. That’s funnier than anything in “Magic Mike’s Last Dance.”

Rating: 1.5 out of 4.

Categories: comedy, Drama

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