The Kings of Tampa are back and bigger than ever!

Magic Mike XXL directed by Gregory Jacobs is set three years after the original. It follows Mike Lane, played by Channing Tatum, whose custom-furniture business has finally taken off in Tampa, however it is a constant struggle as he battles to pay his employees health insurance while also dealing with his unfortunate luck in the romance department. Unwilling to admit it, Mike misses the thrill and excitement of being on stage with the Kings of Tampa, however, he misses the good times he had with his friends even more.  An opportunity that can’t be passed up soon arises as the Kings of Tampa contact him as they make their way to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a stripper convention. With the inevitable promise of fun, chaos and old shenanigans, Mike can’t pass the opportunity up and he jumps at the chance to have one last ride with his best friends.

The original cast, along with quite a few new faces, have returned for the raunchy sequel, yet unlike the original film, the Kings of Tampa were only secondary characters compared to Mike (Channing Tatum), Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) and Adam (Alex Pettyfer). This time around, Jacobs seeks to delve into their characters allowing the audience to get to know them and not their stripper personalities. Ken, played by Matt Bomer, is still his self-healing and meditating self; Big Dick Richie played by Joe Manganiello is struggling with not having slept with a woman in five months and therefore is struggling to find his dance and himself; Tarzan, played by Kevin Nash, is still the uncoordinated stripper of the group, but the film allows for him to have a pivotal emotional moment; and Tito played by Adam Rodríguez has been inspired to follow in Mike’s footsteps as he and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias) have bought a van and are trying to turn it into a mobile frozen yogurt and DJ van.

Magic Mike XXL already had a star studded cast, however, one cameo stood out; American comedian Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias guest stars as Tobias, the driver of the frozen yogurt van and the Kings of Tampa new MC, after the departure of Dallas. His appearance in the film comes with new jokes and a fresh sense of humour, which helps the overall comedy throughout the film – Jacobs made a smart move in casting a professional comedian for this role. Amber Heard and Jada Pinkett-Smith also make an appearance; Amber plays the role of Zoe, a young photographer whose dream is to make it to New York, she meets Mike on the beach after the Kings of Tampa stopped for the night and the two bond. Jada plays the role of Rome, the owner of a private dancing club which is aimed at women.

Magic Mike XXL is focused on female pleasure. Glimpses of this were seen in the first film, but that was for Hen party-goers and birthdays. This time around there are more in depth stories as to why women seek out strippers – they don’t only seek them out as a source of racy behaviour but it’s more so that the male entertainers make them feel wanted and beautiful. That is what Jada’s character focusses on; she calls her women ‘Queen’s’ and wants them to feel beautiful.

Without giving details away (which is quite hard in the case of this film) there is a fantastic scene in which the Kings of Tampa stop off at a home which belongs to a girl they met at a ‘party’. While there, they meet a group of older women led by the young girl’s mother, Nancy, who is played by Andie McDowell. The scene is humorous, raunchy and sentimental; as the women relish in their own experiences and speak of their unhappiness, the men sit and listen – they don’t try to fix them, they just listen. Something which is powerful in itself. When the women are finished, their responses are perfect; they not only manage to make these women happy but they know how they should be treated, which results in the women feeling respected and satisfied. Without giving spoilers, ladies will definitely enjoy what Matt Bomer has to offer in this scene, he is not only charming and suave, but his sex appeal is off the charts.

Magic Mike XXL is only the third film that Gregory Jacobs has directed. His other credits include Wind Chill and Criminal, however, he has worked on a number projects as Second Unit Director or Assistant Director, which included Magic Mike, Ocean’s Thirteen and Ocean’s Eleven, all of which he worked as the first assistant director. Compared to his other films Magic Mike XXL is extremely different in terms of genre and content; it could be said that Jacobs took a risk in directing a movie like this however it was a risk that is surely to pay off.

Get ready to be blown away by the raunchiness that Magic Mike XXL brings. It has everything you could possibly think of; memorable one liners, drag queens, lap dances and more. This film was made for the ladies; not only because of the attractive actors or the storyline, but also for the female characters. It is uplifting, powerful and gives you a strong sense of confidence. Highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a good time, because Magic Mike XXL will surely succeed your expectations.

Rating: 95%

Director: Gregory James

Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodríguez, Kevin Nash etc.

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Running Time: 115 minutes