Talk about a strip…tease. The first trailer for Magic Mike XXL hit the Internets this week, even though we won’t be able to see it in theatres until summer.
Hot, steamy, summer…
When the first film came out, I was skeptical. I thought it was Channing Tatum’s semi-autobiographical vanity film about how hard life was as a male exotic dancer. Eventually, though, the hype won out and I “stepped up” to the Mike (see what I did there?) and was very pleasantly surprised -- by both the quality of the film and how very much I enjoyed the -ahem- visual components.
Do these films objectify men? Absolutely. Is it mostly a thin plot strung around very well-lit, sexy dancing by hard-bodied hunks? Yes, pretty much. Do I want to see more of that? Yes, yes I do!
The fundamental problem I have with the idea of strip clubs and shows, whether they are by or for men or women, is justifying that the dancers want to be there. This is what keeps me from seeing the “real thing” when we go to Vegas or when the touring shows for the ladies come to town. Under the arguments for an art form, I am always thinking: “but how did s/he end up here? What were the life choices? Are they happy?” Maybe the answer really is yes, and if I’d realized what a bangin’ bod I had when I was younger and more flexible, I could have found out for myself.
But on screen? Well, it is just a story, isn’t it? A story about men. Men who work hard at sexy manual labour, like welding, and then show off the fruits of those labours with a little dancing. On a stage. With their incredible, ripped abs and intensity eyes and very naughty “dance” moves. In a case like this, we almost have to reward Channing, Joe, Matt and the rest of the guys for keeping their game tight.
So save me a seat, because the forecast for Canada Day this year is definitely HOT.