Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Verdict: Channing Tatum and his impressive dance skills can't save this flat and uninspired movie, which strays too far from the original concept

  • Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek, Gavin Spokes
  • February 10th 2023
  • Steven Soderbergh

Mike Lane travels to London with Maxandra Mendoza and is put in charge of directing a male strip show.

Channing Tatum is back for the third – and supposedly final – time as Mike Lane in Magic Mike’s Last Dance.

Since his furniture business went under during the pandemic, Mike (Tatum) has been working as a bartender, and we reunite with him as he’s working at a fancy fundraiser organised by Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek Pinault).

The newly-single Max becomes besotted with Mike after he gives her a private lap dance and asks him to join her back home in London, where she wants him to put on a male strip show in her theatre, The Rattigan.

The film’s biggest issue is that it doesn’t feel like a Magic Mike movie. Obviously, the character needs to evolve and can’t simply repeat what we’ve seen before, but this film strays too far from the original.

The only connective tissue is Tatum, but his character is no longer a dancer professionally, we only see him dance three times in the entire movie and he isn’t supported by his buddies.

This installment makes you realise how important his fellow strippers – Ken (Matt Bomer), Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), and Tito (Adam Rodriguez) – were to the previous stories.

The banter and rapport they brought to the table are deeply missed here. There are replaced by dancers that aren’t treated as characters, they are purely anonymous dancers.

This film tells a female-centric story. Max is the one in control and calling the shots while Mike just seems to do whatever she says, even though he’s supposed to be directing the dance revue.

The story is supposed to be centered around their love, but it’s not particularly convincing.

Reid Carolin’s script isn’t great. It reiterates the worthy point of consent and getting a woman’s permission so often that it becomes cringe-worthy.

Also, Max’s daughter Zadie (Jemelia George) narrates the movie by seemingly reading a thesis about dance and love and it is so tonally weird and pointless.

There are some moments of brilliance though. The opening lap dance is very sexy and a topless Tatum pulls off some impressive acts of strength, while he reminds us of his amazing dance skills in the closing number with ballerina Kylie Shea.

The generic dancers also have a fun sequence on a London bus, Max’s butler Victor (Ayub Khan Din) is funny, and there are some laughs peppered throughout.

But ultimately, it all feels quite flat and uninspired. The story was a bizarre choice! It’s basically a feature-length advert for Magic Mike Live.

In cinemas from Friday 10th February.

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