“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is another sequel to feature a character known as ‘Magic Mike’. His previous two adventures had the muscular hunk dancing his way into the hearts of many women. This time, he is put into a reverse “Pretty Woman” role. Mike is the new ‘artistic director’ for a rich woman in London, and he is ready to a put on a show!
Mike Lane (played by Channing Tatum) is now done with exotic dancing, with all of its grinding gyrations. He is working as a bartender at a huge charity party in Miami. The woman in charge is named Maxandra Mendoza (played by Salma Hayek Pinault). She is married to a fabulously wealthy British media tycoon. But she has fallen for the hunky looks of the temporary barkeep. She requests that he see her in her private beach house.
Max has heard from a guest that this bar guy is the famous “Magic Mike”, a well-known exotic dancer. He gently turns down her offer for a private dance. But when Max ups the ante, Mike has no reason to say no. What follows is a long erotic dance sequence wherein Mike displays his tremendous talents. Max is stunned by his liquid movements and his lack of body fat. His reputation had been revived and Max’s desires are rekindled.
Mike refuses any kind of payment for his ‘services’. After all, Max got an ‘Up Close and Personal’ dance, but she did not get ‘The Full Monty’. Max has a much better idea. Mike will travel to London with Max, where she has a little project for him over there. What type of project? Mike sort of forgets to ask for any of the details. But she promises a nice pay off for some legitimate work in the city. Mike has nothing better to do, and the money does sound good. After all, Max looks like she is loaded…
Over in London, Max explains more of what she wants to do. She has her butler, named Victor (played by Ayub Khan Din) to drive them to a few places first. Mike trades in his t-shirt and jeans for some proper British attire. They head over to a rundown little theater called “The Ratigan”. This is a place opened by her billionaire husband to put on stuffy English comedies. Every production as bombed thus far. And because Max is in charge, she has different ideas.
She fires the director of the current production, and lays off all the actors for the play. The female lead, named Hanna (played by Juliette Motamed) wants to know if they will still get paid for not acting. Yes, it is still on ongoing production, but it will not need the current acting crew. Mike is there to turn the stuffy English ‘comedy of manners’ into a rollicking revue of male dancers. That is his specialty, after all. He is ‘Magic Mike’.
Victor takes Mike and Max all around the London scene. Any place where are there dance studios and street performers, Mike and Max invite them to audition. Max’s husband gets wind of the theater takeover. He did give Max full control over what happens there, so he is prevented from changing the redesigned show.
Mike is good when it comes to stage choreography and how to set the stage for a maximum effect. But there are changes in the theater layout that get them into some hot water. The local bureaucrats at the Zoning office are led by an older lady named Edna (played by Vicki Pepperdine). The new stage extension is higher than the allowed size. That means she will reject the changes to the theater, and the entire production will need to be cancelled.
But Mike and crew of hunky dancers have a crazy idea. Edna takes the dreary London bus on the same route everyday, and nothing ever happens. Until one day, all the people on her bus are the dancers in the troupe. At a specific time, they all get out of their seats and start dancing on the bus in the aisle. Each one showers Edna with a smoldering look, and a rose or two. Suddenly, Edna has a change of heart and the show can go on!
Max’s adopted daughter Zadie Ratigan (played by Jemelia George) at first thinks that Mike Lane is just a goofy loser. But she sees that Max is really committed to making this show happen for real. And she sees that Mike might not be a superstar, but he does have a good heart. Plus his skills at making the show a reality are starting to pay off. Zadie, along with Victor, are ready to do anything that they can to make it a success.
Hanna, the leading lady from the original play, comes back to tell Max that she is still under contract. So whatever type of production that they plan to put on, she wants to be involved. After all, with all those talented hunks dancing and prancing around, the show is going to need some type of emcee. Not a bad idea, they all say. Pretty soon there are twenty or so burly men on stage led by one lucky woman.
Mike also finds an out-of-work ballerina (played by Christie-Leigh Emby). He sets up a very special ending dance in the show, where the two of them do a very sensual and riveting dance in the rain. It turns out like ‘Magic Mike at Last does Dirty Dancing’. This number is so hot that Victor has to take the young Zadie out to the lobby, lest she get the wrong ideas about the ‘S’, ‘E’, ‘X’ thing…
Will Max and Mike finally pull off a big show for the stuffy London audience? Will they give them something to talk about? And for the ladies watching the show is there a little something to drool over? Will the messy divorce from her husband leave Max broke? Will Mike ever rise above zero percent body fat?
“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is another adventure for the character named ‘Magic Mike’. Channing Tatum shakes and shimmies his way to show how sensual and physical he is as a dancer. This is his chance to play as if he were in “Dirty Dancing”. Nobody puts Channing in a corner! He commands the screen presence and shows off ‘All the Right Moves’.
Salma Hayek Pinault is more than equal to match Tatum. Her character is feisty and creative. She is always on top of things and is one in charge. They have the incredibly erotic dancing sequence at the start of the movie. Then, her character brings all the pieces together in London. She plays the Richard Gere role in this reverse ‘Pretty Woman’.
This movie is loaded with top-tier male dancers. All have a lot of talent and charisma. But usually, they do not many clothes. The dance numbers are filled with enough beefcake to fill a double-sized meat locker. Each one of them are lean, toned and muscular. There are more six-packs than at most college town liquor stores.
“Magic Mike’s Last Dance” is an exotic and erotic dance-off, with plenty of high-key energy and verve. The ladies might want go to the theater with a more than a few extra dollar bills to pay to these dancing studs.
Magic Mike’s Last Dance
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Written by: Reid Carolin
Starring: Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek Pinault, Ayub Khan Din,Vicki Pepperdine, Jemelia George, Christie-Leigh Emby
Cinematography: Peter James
Edited by: Maryann Brandon
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: February 10, 2023
Length: 110 minutes
MPAA rating: R for sexual material and language
Genre: Drama, Dancing
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