Mike teases magic, delivers an empty plot
We don’t want to see Channing Tatum trying to make it in the real world as a failing business owner. We just want to see him dance and take his clothes off. About 20 minutes into the movie, we get what we want.
Beforehand, his ex-stripper buddies lure him to a party by telling him that his old boss, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) has passed away. This leads to a nice rear-end shot of Joe Manganiello. For the viewer’s benefit, we learn that this was just a cruel prank pulled by the other strippers to lure Mike to the party.
It turns out that Dallas is alive and well and has taken Kid (Alex Pettyfer, also from the original film) overseas to start a new business. I guess this is this best way to write them out of the story. So Mike is now angry with the crew. They reveal they’re going to a convention of strippers in Florida for one last hurrah. Naturally Mike is reluctant because he is running his own business and needs to focus on that. This is because the girl in the last film convinced him to do so. As viewers, we are all just waiting for a strip show. Mike gives us a tease of a show in his work room, showing that he still “has it.”
So the other strippers load up their ice cream truck (I wish I was kidding) and Mike shows up, much to the chagrin of the other strippers given that Mike has been “out of the game” for some time. They take a strong Pitch Perfect turn and decide that the “old routine” won’t cut it and they need to try something new.
At one point during the drive, they end up at a gay bar. There happens to be a contest for most fierce dancer and each stripper participates. This is literally about 3 minutes of screen time. They spend about 10x as much time outside smoking, drinking and talking about future plans. Mike goes to urinate on the beach where he meets a photographer. This photographer, like every other photographer, is different and unique, so they hit it off and then separate for good. Which of course means we’ll see her later.
The strippers all head on a road trip to their final performance when Gabriel Iglesias runs the ice cream truck off the road. This lands him in the hospital and the others wondering what they will do for money. At some point, Joe Manganiello does a fantastic strip tease to make a cashier smile, which gives faith back to the entire team. I really wish that was a joke, but it’s not.
Okay, so, now they are high and dry for a ride and an MC. Mike magically knows someone in Atlanta who can MC for them. They all show up to this “House of Strippers” run by the character named Rome, who is played by Jada Pinkett, who is obviously doing well for herself running this male brothel of strippers and rappers. This is the second time we see a hot strip dance and this time it’s by Channing Tatum. She hasn’t seen Mike in so long that she is reluctant to give him anything, but she ends up giving him a driver and a car (and again, I wish I made this up for laughs)
The crew then arrives at a giant, plantation-style house. They are expecting to meet a girl that one of the strippers met at the beach, only to be met by their mother — surprise cameo by Andy McDowell!!! During the introduction of the MILF’s to the strippers, the younger crowd walks in. Low and behold, one of them is the unique photographer who is too good for the party and sits in the kitchen alone waiting for Mike to come talk to her. (I can’t stress how I wish I was making this up.)
They leave in a Rolls-Royce, only to arrive in Florida for the convention where Jada Pinkett is waiting with a couple of her folks. They now have roughly 12 hours to prepare for the convention and they manage to sync dance moves, sew clothing and paint things.
Naturally, they didn’t RSVP for the convention. And of course Jada knows everyone and she convinces Elizabeth Banks to let the group in somewhere. Then… they all strip and dance… WOW, do they ever!
Channing Tatum pulls out all the stops, Kevin Nash skipped leg day and Matt Bomer sings and dances his way into our hearts. Then the move ends. That was it. Nothing to add. The movie literally ends. We didn’t care about the backstory they gave us. We didn’t care about the character’s futures. They sure tried to make us care. As soon as you think you’ll get an answer, nope… just end credits.
There was a good 20 minutes of super hot guys taking their clothes off and dancing sexually, so I want to give it a 5/10. Compared to any other film ever made, however, I’d like to give it a 1/10.
In the end: save your money. A 20-minute YouTube clip of the strip scenes is inevitable.
Find Stephen Wyatt on Twitter @StunningStephen