Abs, abs, and more abs. That’s pretty much what this movie is all about. Sequel to 2012’s Magic Mike and as blatantly indicated in its “XXL” title, this is clearly an upsize to the first movie in more ways than one. Directed by Gregory Jacobs, Magic Mike XXL sees former cast members Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, and Joe Manganiello reprise their roles as strippers – or male entertainers as they prefer to be known.

Tatum plays the titular character Mike, a male stripper determined to get back into the game with his pals after having left the scene at the peak of his career. Bomer and Manganiello play Ken and Dick respectively, Mike’s buddies and male entertainers who also are trying to make it back and strike it big. The duo is rounded up with returning mates Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), their sidekicks that add to the film’s comic relief.

Males aside, there are the female counterparts of Nancy (Andie MacDowell), Zoe (Amber Heard) and Rome (Jada Pinkett Smith) that serve to balance the sensuality levels in the film. While their roles may be secondary to Mike and his gang, they do aid in moving the story (or lack thereof) forward.

Now, having not seen the first movie, I went in without expecting much and just hoped it didn’t pick up exactly where it left off. Let’s be glad it didn’t, as this is so much comedy and entertainment that even Tatum admits there isn’t much of a plot. So unfortunately or not, when a movie doesn’t have much of a story, the visuals either pay off or flop miserably.

In this case, it was decent. As a guy reviewing Magic Mike XXL, the movie felt like an actual strip show at some parts. Some scenes, though absolutely redundant, are pleasant to the eyes and are even akin to dance sequences. More showy and less story, testosterone levels are constantly on the high. If anything, this would serve as motivation for the guys to buff up.

From a critical point of view, this movie is likely not to fare well with film buffs. But as a typical movie, it’s certainly a thrill to watch. Low on storyline but high on visuals, Magic Mike XXL is essentially eye-candy for pretty much every woman on this planet. If there’s any film that encapsulates the term “male-dominated” in movies, this would be it.

Magic Mike XXL opens in theatres today.

Directed by: Gregory Jacobs
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Running time: 115 minutes
Classification: M18
Rating: 2.5/5