Thursday, February 16, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
French philosopher Albert Camus believed the underlying reality was this: life is absurd. Now, how does that relate to Steven Soderberg’s Magic Mike’s Last Dance? I would think that is manifest, self-evident, although I am more than happy to explain; we are in a world in which Academy Award Winning directors helm – not just once but thrice - films about male strippers.
I am not espousing that Magic Mike cannot exist – nay, all life is rife for the pilfering when it comes to artistic expression, including male strippers - I am purely stating the illogical, bizarre, incongruous fact of someone with Soderberg’s resume being attached to such a project on three occasions spanning 10 years.
And more: did we need three Magic Mike films? Were we asking for it? I suppose the answer must be yes. The buying power of middle-aged women who enjoy shirtless Channing Tatum (as the titular Magic Mike) and contrived, predictable love stories is a great and terrible thing as ancient as time itself.
Absurdity aside, where does it all leave us? How does Magic Mike’s denouement, his coda, match up to the rest? For one thing, it’s starkly different from its former outing – Magic Mike XXL – and the original. Each is somehow a different genre from the last in another nonsensical turn.
We start with Mike Lane as he takes to the stage once again, hoping for one last hurrah in London alongside a wealthy socialite (Salma Hayek as Maxandra) who lures him with an offer he can't refuse – think the Godfather in England but with pectoral-pumping dudes dancing every five minutes (No, it’s not really like that).
There are interesting riffs on power and wealth and we end up with Mike leading a show in London that’s more cabaret-infused-lap-dance than it is classic bar-top grinding. The change of scenery and genre does prove a shot in the arm for what could be a tired formula and that’s all you can really expect, surely – a bit of fun.
In fact: no one is going to see Magic Mike’s Last Dance looking for any meaning, any sort of philosophical bent or take-away.
That would be absurd.
Magic Mike’s Last Dance is playing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema now.