Magic Mike XXL

By Ankit Verma

Mailed on July 02, 2015

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Dear Jada-Pinkett Smith

Dear Jada-Pinkett,

You'd think a movie like Magic Mike XXL would be the ultimate platform for misogynistic boasting, but it was the complete opposite thanks largely to you.

I've been a fan of your no-bullshit attitude since you donned the red highlights as Fish Mooney in Gotham. Maybe this is why you were the perfect choice to literally lead the charge, as the emcee for a group of retiring male dancers looking for one last hoorah in the spotlight at Myrtle Beach's premiere stripper convention.

Frankly, you saved the movie. Aside from the mesmerizing dancing that defied all laws of physics (the human body shouldn't be able to do what Channing Tatum can do), Magic Mike XXL chooses to spend several chunks of screen time on dialogue that goes nowhere. You can only handle so much frat boy flirting before you tune out.

But when you talk, you command attention, rivalling even the ass-less-iest of ass-less chaps. I can say this because all your key moments were wedged between pivotal stripping scenes.

When we are introduced to your strange house of male burlesque, you remind the women in attendance that they are queens. If they want to watch men take off their clothes, then they should go right ahead and do it. If they want to have a one night stand with a sculpted stranger, then screw society and its labels. Most importantly, you remind them that women are just like men: they have sexual needs and there is nothing wrong with that.

Your sass and bravado are enough to change the tone of the entire movie. When Matthew McConaughey was the ring leader in Magic Mike, he was flirtatious and coy. He knew the women were there for the men. But with you, it was evident that the men were there for the women.

It was a breath of fresh air to see you stand your ground. When other women buttered at the sight of a naked torso, you saw it as your job. No amount of pelvic gyrations could make you flinch.

It is a shame that Magic Mike XXL fell short. It definitely wasn't as good as the first (which was surprisingly good). Thankfully, your performance kept me intrigued when penis innuendos couldn't.

Alright, alright, alright,


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