The guys are back, they’re a little older and possibly slightly wiser (minus Matthew McConaughey) for one last ride before hanging up the sparkly thong. Mike (Channing Tatum) is finally set up with his custom-made furniture business he pined over in the first film, but when the chance arises to rejoin the old crew he’s quick to jump. Off they go to the annual stripper convention A.K.A the biggest gathering of sexually repressed/desperate women in the western hemisphere. The premise is simple and its aim is apparent as a good time film with some good-looking men who are in amazing shape and can dance like nobody’s watching (with most of their clothes off).
Most of the originals are back for the second ride: Channing Tatum, Joe Maganiello as Big Dick Richie, Matt Bomer as Ken, Adam Rodriguez as Tito and Kevin Nash as Tarzan. Then we have newcomers Stephen Boss probably known better as tWitch, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donald Glover, and Amber Heard as the new love interest for Mike. Heard’s character is put forward as a possibly depressed girl with men issues which can be solved by a pretty guy who gives a pretty decent lap-dance; not sure how seriously the writers actually thought about that one but given the type of film that can be ignored. The characters are generally back to old tricks, or for most the tricks they’ve been doing the whole time anyway, as it’s their job so it’s hard to brand any of what happens as particularly surprising, of course there’s precious little in the film that isn’t directly about or related to sex. The few buddy road-trip moments are mostly about whose had sex, will have, or hasn’t.
The film is funny at times, and maybe also a little awkward at times (look out for Michael Strahan, it’s hard to believe he was once a professional NFL player). They have attempted to give us what the first film quite frankly failed to do, it was too quick to turn from fun and sexy to dark and depressing, but there’s still something about this film that feels a little like there’s something else going on; most of it is shot quite darkly and for lack of a better word lingers. It constantly flirts with the line of whether being ‘male entertainers’ is either fun or degrading, mostly for the former but occasionally the latter.
To put it simply there’s a lot of crotch in face action, a few laughs and some very attractive people, it’s one to make women giggle and maybe not much else.