Magic Mike 2 as Recapped by Someone Who Has Never Seen Magic Mike 1, Watching on a Plane without Headphones or Subtitles.

december 30th, 2015

i forgot my headphones the other day coming back from Boston, but it worked out (behold).

This recap may not be easy to follow, even if you recently watched Magic Mike 2 and paid very close attention. And it's rather long. Longer even than my Tacky Harper's Cryptic Clues posts. The point of this paragraph is that i'm managing our expectations and also crypto‑apologizing.

Ok here we go!

A van pulls up: “Mike Lane Designs.” Quick cuts of Mike delivering tables and chairs. That's right: Mike has a straight job now, a straight life. But somewhere along the way he also gave up … the magic.

The old gang pranks straight‑laced Mike into a hotel pool party. Mike shows up wearing a suit and tie. “What's with the monkey suit?? You gotta let loose, brother!” A naked man pushes Mike into the pool. Now he's all wet. Make out! Make out! Make out!

side rant ok the butt crack in this pool scene was blurred out, which, i paid $8 to see this movie on a plane, and i still had to watch a :30 ad for a major hotelier, and now on top of that, blurry butt. C'mon.

The guys are chattin by the pool. i'm going to refer to them hereon as “The Mikes.” These shots are very crotch‑forward. Each Mike has a disambiguating physical characteristic, like in the X‑Men or Sex & the City.

OH SHIT one of the Mikes is EXTREMELY HOT. Hot Mike.

Pool fun is done, now they're hanging out in a hotel room. Someone's sister wears a (motorcycle?) helmet and jumps around. “Don't mind her, she's just a kid.” The Mikes are lying on the beds, just chattin, just guy stuff. Make out! Make out! Make out!

The Mikes | Magic Mike 2

CRIMEY the blue eyes on Hot Mike are OUT OF CONTROL
Put on some sunglasses! Save us from yourself!
He's like Chris Pine's pretty younger brother.

Hot Mike | Magic Mike 2

The remaining Mikes: Mike Dog. Old Mike. Big Mike. Magic Mike.

The Mikes | Magic Mike 2

Each disambiguating affect particularly piquant in this hotel room scene. You really get a feel for how different these fellas are, yet brothers and quints in their love of sex‑dancing for dolla dolla bills.

Back home at ML Designs. Magic Mike is a good boss. Tough, but fair. Open the freezer. Ice cream with a note from “B”: she's the one that got away. Now it's just ice cream for one. But he knew it might turn out like this, Mike did. And so did she.

Tool time. Drilling to the beat. Here comes an erotic dance solo.


Can it be that i've never seen Channing Tatum dance ere now?
Post‑coital laugh on the work table. Ok i get now why the original made hundreds and millions and millions and millions. That was amazing.

Hot Mike and Old Mike have a food truck. Hot Mike's backpack: very “sophomore year pot dealer” production values. All the Mikes have day jobs. And their dreams? What of those, Mikes?

Road trip. Mike Dog making shakes of chocolate, whey protein, and Southern Comfort.
“Tastes like the old days …”

i now realize that there is a SIXTH Mike who is not Old Mike, but looks an awful lot like Old Mike. i can only tell them apart when they're in the same frame. The sixth Mike has blond streaks and wears hats so i'll call him Bro Mike. Bro Mike was the naked friend at the pool. Bro Mike is wild.

Bro Mike and Old Mike | Magic Mike 2

The road trip destination is a gay bar. Wait, no. An old stripping hangout. It's about to be open MIKE night in here!!


Each Mike takes a solo. OH SHIT Mike Dog's entire solo is pantomiming applying lipstick while looking in a pantomime compact mirror. This movie is amazing. Old Mike doing that crotch‑cleaning move while straddling a feather boa. Classic. Big Mike doing a Carmen Miranda thing. And that wins it. Hooray Mikes! No big choreography numbers. Just individual flavor. They're a Mike Salad, not a Mike Maki Roll. i get it.

Beach bonfire with take‑out soup. Old Mike wears a stylized sign of Baal or Baphomet on his tank top in Michigan State gold and navy. Old Mike to Magic Mike: “you're telling me you don't miss it?” and MM just looks away. Not Jenna Elfman sitting beside him can't believe what she's hearing.


HM: “What if we DID get back together? As dancers, I mean. For one last epic strip.”
MM: “You're so crazy.”

Now HM and MM are up in each others' faces!! For a homosexual subtextually‑charged dance‑off??

HM pointing a lot, stipulating. Watch how hard he stipulates. “If you lose this dance‑off, you gotta be one of us. And get naked, and sweaty, every night, in an erotic environment, our bodies hard, and slick. With me, HM, by your side.”

But now they're punching each other. Wait, what? This is very different from how i thought it was going to go.
HM: “Are you happy now? Hey, don't you walk away!! [again]”

Not Natasha Lyonne is taking pictures of MM's sulky beach urination. Calling it right now, this is the movie's low point.

MM: “Is photography even art, like: point, click, the camera does all the work.”
NNL: “A camera is mere machine. Just like in NASCAR.”
[she blows pretty smoke]
NNL: “Nothing without a driver.”

Ok i'm getting a better look at her, and she's more like Not Evan Rachel Wood. And she's also possibly thirteen, like in ERW's breakout film, and age while shooting, Thirteen.

MM: “I've lost my way, NERW.”
NERW blows pretty smoke out to the ocean, ‘is this guy gonna kiss me or what?’
MM: “I'm cold. Are you cold? I better get back to Hot Mike kay it was nice meeting you byyyye!!”

OMG MM's sideways cap, such a RUDE BOY
SMASH CUT to truck hangover, HM meditating shirtless on the beach OF COURSE
HM doesn't call it “meditation” he calls it “tation.” Right now he's “tating.”
MM's floppy beanie like a beret, i can't, omg i die, i live, i die again.

HM: “I lost control last night, buddy. I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me.”
MM: “Yah last night was fun! What the hell, I'm in!!”

Old Mike and Bro Mike in the same shot, proving they're not the same person. Except they seem like two body stalks of one off‑screen creature. Or two puppets with a single master. Or like Old Spock and Young Spock in the same frame.

Back on the road, “let's do dis!!” The Mikes pass around an Altoids tin with an affirmation from The Art of War written inside. They're taking mints but it's probably a prank and they're actually taking ecstasy. Or, no prank, it's just ecstasy. Mike Dog says no thanks, “you guys know I don't mess with that stuff. Not while I'm driving geeze.”

MM talking about his dreams. Hands to chest, hands out. Hands to chest, hands out. Emphatic eye close. Open. Palms face each other. Up and down go the palms. He's shaking an imaginary beach ball that represents the turmoil he feels inside.

HM: “Just admit you've always wanted back in.”
[MM's hands go still]
MM: “holy shit he's right!!”

i was joking before but it actually was Art of War Altoids ecstasy? Well it's kicked in now. MM wearing a deep crew neck. Never seen one of those before. Deep v: yes. Deep crew: A Magic Mike first.

Tension in the roadside quik mart parking lot. “Do it, Old Mike! Buy a water and don't let her know you're high!”

Prankish non‑consensual quik mart strip dance by Old Mike. Quik mart clerk is Not Into It. The Mikes outside are goin nuts. OM makes a big mess. Clerk smiles. SMASH CUT to eating Cheetos in the lunch truck. Way to go, OM. You made a mess, and you probably didn't clean it up, and she smiled, and also Cheetos. Just another krazy day in the life of a Mike! This scene was weird. By weird i mean sex‑crimey.

Back in the lunch truck, Bro Mike opens a cooler of STRIPPER COSTUME HATS WUTT?? All this time there was an UNADDRESSED COSTUME COOLER?? Bro Mike is tossing the hats out the window, and no one is (WUT?) stopping him. “No more costumes, no more lies. From now on it's just: Mikes.”

The Mikes hold hands and HM leads them in an energy circle/prayer. Big Mike at the wheel falls asleep. He didn't wait long enough for the Altoids to wear off, o no lunch truck crash! Hospital sequence. Queue up your expectations of butt jokes and hot nurse jokes. Then cross those expectations right out. This sequence is about Mikes on Mikes.

Hot Mike hands Big Mike an energy crystal. Old Mike literally can't roll his eyes hard enough. Now OM is having an arm waving tantrum! OM face‑planting! into the hospital bed! So mad about HM's hippie shit. Ohhhhhh how it burns him up!

But MM has something else on his mind: the engagement ring in his wallet. “I was going to give this to B, before everything went wrong.” Now it's MM's arms a'swingin. Thinkin about B always brings up Feelings. OM is convinced. “You're right. I can't waste my life throwing tantrums, the way MM's wasting his life eating ice cream alone.”

The remaining five Mikes go to a sultry mansion in swampiest Georgia. An “R” on the front gate. The Rooster House. There's some static with the muscle at the door, but MM knows how to con his way in. Inside the Rooster House? contortionist strippers, wild bachelorette parties. And upstairs? it's the one and only B, played by … Jada Pinkett‑Smith!

JPS to MM: “Is that an old engagement ring in your pocket, or are you conflicted to see me?” Annnnnd then they kiss. It's weird, but brief.

JPS [undressing] “You gotta lotta nerve coming here. A lot.”
JPS now dressed in a white suit tailored like a bikini vest with pants.

Down in the Rooster Den, lots of dancing (finally!!). Dollars falling like snow on cedars. Alligator jaw clap dance moves! Samurai stances! A Rooster pulls his pants down a leetle and the dollars fly!

JPS on the mic. “Are you ready for this, laaaaaaay‑deeeeeees!”
Donald Glover! descending staircase! and he's singing! my kingdom for some headphones! Greek key gilt on the elastic of DG's boxer briefs. MM grooving so hard to this DG serenade.

CUT TO the Mikes chilling with DG and JPS in the Rooster den.
JPS: “are you really quitting strip?”
MM: “Magic Mike is dead. I've buried my hopes and feelings so leave me ALONE OK!!

FINALLY a dance‑off! MM dancing hardcore with a bachelorette. Lots of suggested or simulated oral sex. What do women want? It was never hard, Dr Freud.

JPS: “If you ever need a job …”
MM: “I will never forgive you, and I will never be your friend, and I will NEVER work for you, but thanks for the favor that you've agreed to that was the reason we came here.”

DG gives the Mikes a ride to a different mansion. It's Andie MacDowell's mansion! And she's having a cougars' wine night! She's Bro Mike's stepmom. Or she's his mom. Hi, mom.

Andie Mac counting heads. “Funny … there are five of us … and five of you … and five bedrooms … funny.” Enter: a gaggle of teen girls including, what have we here?

MM: “You're a teen?????”
NERW: “Is that a Problem for you?”

Meanwhile in the living room the mood is Bummer, even though everyone has a cougar‑size wine glass. “Vino,” Andie Mac calls it. “You boys want some more vino?” Mike Dog's loving his. HM decides to Turn up the Heat with the cougarest cougar. She's rubbing his back while she straddles him! Like a girl who loves her horse!

The Mikes survive their Night in the Cougar Nest and arrive at their final destination: the Myrtle Beach Stripper Convention. There to greet them at registration is stripmatrix Elizabeth Banks! And JPS is here! And now EB and JPS are hugging! Long hugging! Eyes closed hugging. The Mikes are making curious eye contact like “whoa.” This part is really in the movie. This part is not in my imagination. In the Magic Mike sequel, Elizabeth Banks's and Jada Pinkett‑Smith's characters were, at some point, lovers. And when they meet again at the Myrtle Beach Stripper Convention they give each other the Hug of Unfinished Business.

How are the Mikes going to win? With their talent for CRAFTS. HM uses a tiny one‑handed sewing machine that made me say “OH MY G0D” out loud. Mike Dog does something with glitter that generates Applause from all the Mikes and the Roosters!!

Show time. Throngs of ladies attending as civilians, ladies lining up for their stacks on stacks of single bills. An interesting practical note in this movie. The dollar stacks. Backstage we see some of the other stripper teams with maki roll approaches. Cowboy strippers, mariachi strippers, GI Joes, gladiators, leather bikers, a lone Matrix stripper in full Neo cosplay!!

Mike Dog is nervous.
MM: “Brother, you're the heart and soul of the team.”
[they hold hands]
[their foreheads touch in the traditional greeting of the Vuvalini]

traditional greeting of the Vuvalini

Eliz B the MC in shiny stripper make‑up with a dress that is VERY tight. Every crevice.
“Let the games begin!”

Ringmaster JPS introduces each Mike in his Arts and Craft‑Powered Fettle. Someone licks chocolate off a woman. Hot Mike does a Fosse solo. Old Mike in a tux, mock wedding followed by strapping his mock bride into a very real bondage hammock WUT THAT TOOK A TURN

Big finale. MM in a mirror dance with one of the Roosters. They each pull a woman up from the crowd to receiveth the dance. And the woman MM pulls up is: (ew) Not Evan Rachel Wood. Time to put a button on this plotline, and this movie.

And then the movie just ends, i think. No doubt: they win the convention and return to their day jobs, but the magic is theirs to keep, always there inside.

If you're still reading, thank you so much for reading. You deserve a trophy! And if you're still reading and you enjoyed yourself, please let me know.

In the process of hunting down stills for this post i've now watched several clips of Magic Mike 1 which looks like it has
1. much more dancing
2. comedic McConaughey

So. That's where i'll be for the next couple hours :)