Magic Mike’s Last Dance coming to Netflix makes it easy to watch its one great scene

A model of this essay initially ran together with Magic Mike’s Last Dance’s arrival on digital streaming. It has been up to date and reposted together with the movie’s arrival on Netflix.

In contrast to 2015’s Magic Mike XXL, Steven Soderbergh’s sequel, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, was a box-office whiff. The third Magic Mike film is meant as the ultimate installment in a trilogy starring Channing Tatum as a male stripper with a coronary heart of gold, a facet enterprise in carpentry, and a totally explored philosophy about ladies’s pleasure. However not like the earlier Magic Mike motion pictures, it by no means constructed a fandom or grew to become a middle of on-line dialogue — it barely made a ripple when it hit theaters in February 2023.

Just a few months after its theatrical launch, Magic Mike’s Last Dance arrived on Max, the platform it was originally made for. And as of February 2024, it’s streaming on Netflix as nicely. The group of individuals perpetually in search of one thing new to watch on Netflix could lastly watch it this time. However they most likely shouldn’t. It’s a dispiriting, calculated, half-assed train in company branding. Frankly, there’s solely one scene in Magic Mike’s Last Dance that’s actually value watching, not less than for followers of the earlier motion pictures, and it comes early within the movie.

For Netflix subscribers (and impatient digital renters), the sequence begins about eight minutes in, as Tatum’s character, Mike Lane, known as to meet along with his employer of the second, a wealthy, bored lady named Maxandra (Salma Hayek Pinault). COVID pulled Mike’s carpentry enterprise below, and he’s doing odd jobs, like bartending for the catering firm Maxandra hires for her newest fundraising gig. Depressed over her impending divorce, Maxandra heard from one of Mike’s exes that he does a “silly dance” that may cheer her up. She’s keen to supply him $6,000 for a personal present.

Picture: Warner Bros.

Mike says he doesn’t dance anymore — however lured by the cash and stung by the “silly dance” description, he modifies his thoughts, clears the surfaces in Maxandra’s home of potted crops and knickknacks, and offers her a solo efficiency that doesn’t even strive to masquerade as something aside from extremely theatrical, only-in-the-movies foreplay.

The scene is in reality a “silly dance,” however it’s the one a part of the film that actually feels just like the movies that preceded it — notably like Magic Mike XXL, with its prolonged lectures (a few of them in poetic kind, delivered by Donald Glover) about how fulfilling ladies’s fantasies is a sacred artwork. Mike begins by pulling up his shirt and placing Maxandra’s hand on his abs as if that they had therapeutic powers. Then he climbs throughout her and her furnishings, treating her to a lap dance that features carrying her round along with his face buried in her crotch, doing pull-ups on her knickknack cabinets whereas she yanks his pants off, and crawling throughout a desk on all fours together with her below him, pushing her alongside the floor along with his groin.

It’s all faintly hilarious. For these able to shopping for into the fantasy it’s promoting, it’s additionally sort of horny, if solely as a result of each of the performers have the bodily power and beauty to pull off these sorts of strikes. And if nothing else, it’s a prerequisite for diving into the generally funny interviews the actors have completed in regards to the expertise of filming it. Both method, the scene is handled with the straight-faced, near-religious gravity the Magic Mike motion pictures have at all times introduced to sensual dance routines. The actors are principally miming slow-motion, acrobatic intercourse, whereas protecting their garments on and their faces solemn.

The remainder of the film is only a downhill run, beginning with the shot instantly after the dance sequence, the place it turns into clear that Mike and Maxandra adopted their mimed intercourse with precise intercourse. Which is okay, besides that from there, audiences are requested to consider that Mike has fallen for Maxandra and can do something to keep in a relationship together with her, regardless that she’s risky, manipulative, dishonest, abusive, and above all, written so shallowly and erratically that it’s onerous to see the attraction.

And that’s very true since Mike himself appears extra like a prop than a presence for many of this film. The carpentry work that outlined him in Magic Mike is gone. The chums who outlined him in Magic Mike XXL have been sidelined, other than a quickie Zoom check-in to acknowledge they exist. His philosophizing about his position on this planet is over. All that defines him on this film is his romance with Maxandra — which, inexplicably, is framed and narrated in elaborately poetic, nonsensical language by Maxandra’s prickly teen daughter.

A Black male dancer in jeans and a backward baseball cap leaps high in the air as other male dancers crouch behind him on a blue-lit stage criss-crossed with bright white spotlights in a scene from Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Picture: Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Assortment

Extra considerably, the film was expressly constructed round selling the real-life Magic Mike Live stage present, and it provides the principle characters fairly minimal and uninteresting private arcs, whereas it focuses as an alternative on their efforts to produce the same strip efficiency. The film’s massive climax is a prolonged dance efficiency by a bunch of latest performers who largely don’t even get character names, not to mention personalities. Truthful discover: Different Polygon viewers preferred it greater than I did. If you happen to’re positive with the dearth of stakes or specifics for that sequence, and simply need spectacle, staging, and muscular guys taking off their shirts — and solely their shirts, once more not like in earlier Magic Mike motion pictures — it begins simply earlier than the 88-minute mark.

Tatum dances once more in that sequence, and the choreography is compelling. He and dance associate Kylie Shea, who additionally by no means will get a personality identify, slide round throughout a moist stage collectively. However there’s no sense of stakes in any of it, other than the query of whether or not Mike and Maxandra’s underdeveloped, disagreeable relationship will proceed, or they’ll break up up after the present.

That’s the enjoyable of streaming, although — viewers can dip out and in at leisure, and give attention to the enjoyable bits with out committing to the tedious ones. They will additionally store round for one thing extra gratifying to watch after Tatum and Hayek Pinault’s $6,000 acrobatic intercourse routine is over. Possibly it’s time to watch the unique Magic Mike once more, and see how far this unhappy cash-in has fallen from the unique concept. That film isn’t on Netflix, however it is on Hulu (together with Magic Mike XXL), all three motion pictures within the sequence are nonetheless on Max, they usually’re obtainable on Amazon, Vudu, and different digital rental platforms.

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