Hollywood has heeded the call of the public and now we have proof. Slashfilm reports that Magic Mike XXL, sequel to the stupendously successful Magic Mike, has a trailer. Well, technically it’s just a teaser trailer, but who cares, right? Say what you will about the first film, it was a breath of fresh air and served as a considerable kick up the ass for Channing Tatum, who you’ll be happy to know has returned for the sequel. Check it out, courtesy of Warner Bros.:
Well it certainly looks like this film will live up to its name. The film will see Channing and his team of hip-swivellin’ pelvis-thrustin’ male strippers heading from Tampa to Myrtle Beach for stripping convention…you see normally I would make fun of a plot point like that, but there’s something about this franchise is damn-near infectious. Matthew McConaughey sadly will not be in the sequel, but I’m not sure anyone was expecting the Oscar-winner to be taking his shirt off again anytime soon. Although it would have been fun to see him hit the stage again…do strippers work on stages? Whatever.
Changing hands from Steven Soderbergh to new director Gregory Jacobs, the film also stars Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, Jada Pinkett Smith, Elizabeth Banks and Andie MacD- Andie MacDowell’s in this? Weird.
I found it hard to like the last two films in the Madagascar series, but that’s mainly my fault: I find it hard to have any sympathy for a character played by Ben Stiller. But that’s my cross to bear, not yours. Here’s a review of the latest instalment, the feathered spinoff Penguins of Madagascar. Have a read!
While the penguins have the good sense to ditch the quadrupeds they’ve been hanging out with for three films, they wind up breaking into Fort Knox and running into Dave the Octopus, an old nemesis who wants revenge on all penguins for ruining his career as a zoo attraction. So Dave plans to use a serum that will turn all adorable penguins into unlovable monsters. If that wasn’t bad enough, the penguins lock horns with the North Wind, an international organisation that protects animals in need (yes they are animals too). In the end, it’s down to private to prove that he isn’t just the cute one of the group and take his place as the hero of the film and, to an extent, the franchise. Good luck private!
For a family film in a formulaic franchise, there’s a ridiculous amount of jokes in Penguins just for adults. It’s mainly wordplay and winks to the audience about movie tropes and previous Madagascar downfalls. Other than that, the quick karate slapstick that makes up most of the penguins’ animation manages to stay fresh for most of the film. While the previous films really felt like they were just being made for the sake of a sequel, there is a real sense of just-for-the-hell-of-it fun that takes a lot of pressure off the film and gives it a cheekier, more relaxed feel. John Malkovich really plays into it as a megalomaniacal octopus and you almost wouldn’t believe Benedict Cumberbatch is the wolf leader of North Wind with all the sports-caster voice fluxes he comes out with. It’s an alcoholic bouncy castle for veteran characters and actors alike. That’s quotable right?
Half of the characters in this film don’t really need to be there. The entire cast of the North Wind is unnecessary, particularly in terms of plot as they seem to just be an extra problem for the villains and the penguins to deal with. Although I’m sure they have an extra benefit of being a cushion that stops us being rubbed raw with penguin dialogue. The most disappointing part of the film by far is that I was sure that I’d just seen a Madagascar product that didn’t have a single lemur in sight. And I nearly made it until the film wrapped up…and there they were. The annoying King one and the annoying little one. I know the names and the actors who play them, but I’d rather not further the stereotype that anyone needs to know who they are.
A lot of Penguins of Madagascar‘s charm comes from its distancing from the other tired characters from the last few films. I kind of wish that they’d forgone Escape to Africa and Europe’s Most Wanted and gone straight to a penguin spinoff, but then maybe we wouldn’t have appreciated it as much back then. If you see any film in the franchise, see this one. Give it a bit of breathing room and you’ll laugh a decent amount for a family film.