Magic Mike’s Last Dance Reviews Are In, And Critics Are Not-So-Hot And A Little Bothered By Channing Tatum’s Threequel

For many people Super Bowl LVII will be the biggest event to take place this weekend, but for others the big game will be easily overshadowed by Channing Tatum’s "Super Bowl of stripper movies," aka Magic Mike’s Last Dance. The third and (supposedly) final movie in the franchise comes more than 10 years since Magic Mike’s premiere, and the actor has promised lap dances, a crazy opening and “less character, more dancing.” Reviews are in for the threequel that many thought would never happen, so let’s see what the critics are saying.

This time around Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike will not be joined by his motley crew of dancer buddies from the first two installments. Instead, Salma Hayek’s Maxandra Mendoza whisks the enthusiastic dancer-turned-carpenter-turned-bartender away to London to breathe life into a production she’s been running at a theater on the West End. So where will this film fall in the discourse of best dance movies? I’ll let the critics answer that. 

Leah Greenblatt of EW grades the movie a B-, saying that while the characters are underdeveloped, there are flashes of the original, and the pelvic thrusting that most of the audience is going for is still there. The critic continues: 

Like [Steven Soderbergh’s] last effort, last year's Zoë Kravitz house-thriller Kimi, Last Dance has the closed-in, often airless feel of a pandemic project: The cast is limited, and the let's-put-on-a-show script, by Reid Carolin (Dog), proceeds in leisurely fits and starts (not that Mike has ever been a man for elaborate plotting).

Jude Dry of IndieWire gives Magic Mike’s Last Dance a B, saying that while the “playground lesson in consent” sometimes feels patronizing to everyone in the audience, Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek’s chemistry gives the trilogy a satisfying sendoff: 

The plot doesn’t need to do much, and it hangs together long enough to deliver a truly spectacular dance show. The motley crew of beloved B-list actors are missed, but in their place we get real bona fide dancers. It may be Mike’s last dance, but it’s the franchise’s first real choreography, which includes a hilarious flash mob and a truly gorgeous finale that looks like something out of Fuerza Bruta.

Katie Rife of Polygon says Magic Mike’s Last Dance often feels like an advertisement for the Magic Mike Live! shows that take place in Las Vegas, Miami and London, with the plot of the movie setting up an origin story. The review continues:  

On the whole, Magic Mike’s Last Dance has the feel of a stage musical, complete with big emotions expressed through song — or a half-naked interpretive dance in the fake rain, as the case may be. It’s a lusty, aspirational fairy tale, featuring heightened scenarios, luxe wardrobe choices, and a London where working-class Adonises stage impromptu flash mobs on double-decker buses. … But allowing both love and money to complicate the primal enjoyment of watching muscular men in sweatpants gyrate ends up diluting the film’s once-simple pleasures. Maybe you can’t have it all.

Like other critics, K. Austin Collins of Rolling Stone also speaks to how important consent is in Magic Mike’s Last Dance, and points out that this movie isn’t actually about Mike, but rather Salma Hayek’s Maxandra Mendoza. He argues that the movie’s good intentions mute the pleasures audiences got in the first films, saying: 

The premise of the dancing this time around is permission. Consent. No more throwing ladies around onstage as if they automatically agreed to it by virtue of being there. No more hip-breaking pyrotechnics to put Elvis to shame. Consent, in this new world, is foreplay. That’s admirable and, for many people, hot. It needn’t have given way to a movie that felt so tame. But tame is what Magic Mike’s Last Dance is — what it apparently wants to be, what it becomes in exchange for its new, cardboard-simple, ostensible pro-woman worldview. The movie’s pleasures mute themselves beneath its good intentions. It wants to be about what women want. But it feels like it never asked.

Peter Debruge of Variety agrees that Last Dance — a sequel “in name only,” the critic says — has dulled its bite over the last decade. He calls the script lazy, as the film “plays more like a made-for-cable backstage musical than a gender-swapped Pretty Woman fantasy.” Debruge continues: 

‘A woman can have whatever she wants whenever she wants.’ Unless of course that woman is watching Magic Mike’s Last Dance, in which case, she can only count on getting a fraction of what she wants, wrapped in platitudes about empowerment and consent.

The Magic Mike movies are considered some of Channing Tatum’s best work, with the original also counted as one of Steven Soderbergh’s best movies. Mixed reviews are unlikely to deter fans of the first two offerings, so for those of you who want to check out Magic Mike’s Last Dance, you’ll be able to do so in theaters starting Friday, February 10. In the meantime, the first two movies are available to stream with an HBO Max subscription, and be sure to check out what other films are hitting the big screen soon with our 2023 Movie Release Schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.