Channing Tatum Photos

Magic Mike XXL
Magic Mike XXL
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Purple is the color of royalty, and Channing is the king.

Image Source: Warner Bros.
Magic Mike XXL
Magic Mike XXL
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Yes, you are the champion.

Image Source: Warner Bros.
Magic Mike XXL
Magic Mike XXL
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Get your introspection on.

Image Source: Warner Bros.
The Dancing Is Better
The Dancing Is Better
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Even though Channing Tatum insisted he'd never top "Pony," his big solo in the first movie, I have to disagree with him. While there felt like more group dances in the original film, Magic Mike XXL is more about the solos (or the duos, if we're talking about Tatum and tWitch's final dance). And each one is special: Mike reprises "Pony" in a more creative way, Ken incorporates singing into stripping, BDR takes "Marry You" to "Closer" in a scorching-hot routine, and the aforementioned "Mirror Dance" is the movie's crown jewel. (Not to mention that impromptu drag show!) There could have been more dancing, but the dancing we get is quality.

The Focus Is on the Guys
The Focus Is on the Guys
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On the set last year, Tatum said that his biggest regret was not focusing on the guys more in the first movie. Magic Mike XXL is all about the ensemble this time around, and not only is it funnier (see above), each actor gets to show off his strengths (vs. just his body parts). Like, who knew Joe Manganiello would be such a comedy powerhouse? Why wouldn't you let the adorable Matt Bomer do his thing? And not only that, but the guys are also on the road, which gives them something to do and moves the story right along. "It's a stripper odyssey," Tatum claimed, which is pretty much the perfect description of the movie.

There's an Emphasis on Women's Pleasure
There's an Emphasis on Women's Pleasure
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In the first movie, there's a reach for depth, a pretentious need to prove that this movie isn't just a movie about male strippers. And yet, there exists no moment where any of the guys wonder why they do this. In fact, Mike is all about how he does it for himself, busting out his most innovative dance when he's rebelling against Dallas. But in Magic Mike XXL, it's clear: they love dancing to please women. Yes, they still do it for themselves, but at every turn, women's pleasure is emphasized. Jada Pinkett Smith's character has a business devoted to giving women what they want, referring to her clientele as "queens." Donald Glover's character has a whole monologue about just asking women what they want. The guys even have a faux therapy session with several older women, imploring them to tell them their problems and let them help. The first movie is already progressive in its almost-exclusive objectification of male bodies (though there is a pair of bare breasts it loses points for), but Magic Mike XXL wins more points for its worship of women.

The Tone
The Tone
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The biggest reason Magic Mike XXL is such an improvement: it's funny. It's not just a little lighter in tone, either; it's a full-on comedy. Joe Manganiello has described it as "a comedy in the vein of Animal House," which is a pretty staggering departure from the seedy, melodramatic world Steven Soderbergh showed us in 2012. That movie has its merits, but the levity is so much more fun for everyone.

When Jada and Elizabeth Banks Have a Little Moment
When Jada and Elizabeth Banks Have a Little Moment
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Image Source: TBS
When BDR Rocks Out to "I Want It That Way"
When BDR Rocks Out to "I Want It That Way"
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Redeemed. A little.

When Andie MacDowell Turns Out to Be BDR’s "Glass Slipper"
When Andie MacDowell Turns Out to Be BDR’s "Glass Slipper"
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Image Source: Fox
When Mike Busts Out an Entire Sexy Scene While Also Using Power Tools
When Mike Busts Out an Entire Sexy Scene While Also Using Power Tools
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Image Source: ABC
When the Credits Roll
When the Credits Roll
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Image Source: YouTube
Amber Heard's Face Through the Whole Mirror Dance
Amber Heard's Face Through the Whole Mirror Dance
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AMBER HEARD IS ALL OF US.

Image Source: Yahoo
When the Mirror Dance Starts
When the Mirror Dance Starts
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Image Source: The CW
When Jada Is Basically Like, "You Need to Be on Birth Control For This Next Dance"
When Jada Is Basically Like, "You Need to Be on Birth Control For This Next Dance"
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Image Source: Netflix
When You Realize That Crazy-Cut Stripper Is Michael Strahan
When You Realize That Crazy-Cut Stripper Is Michael Strahan
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Image Source: Disney
When Amber Heard's Character Is Introduced
When Amber Heard's Character Is Introduced
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Image Source: Marvel
When We Find Out That Dallas Didn't Die but Was Just Written Out
When We Find Out That Dallas Didn't Die but Was Just Written Out
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The door needs to be open for McConaughey in Magic Mike 3.

Image Source: Marvel
Channing's Every Move in the Mirror Dance
Channing's Every Move in the Mirror Dance
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Image Source: NBC
When the Guys Finally Take the Stage at the Convention
When the Guys Finally Take the Stage at the Convention
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Image Source: NBC
When Ken Starts Serenading That Bored Housewife With "Heaven"
When Ken Starts Serenading That Bored Housewife With "Heaven"
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Image Source: Netflix
When It Turns Into a Sexy BDSM Dance to "Closer"
When It Turns Into a Sexy BDSM Dance to "Closer"
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Image Source: FX
When Amber Heard's Character Conveniently Keeps Showing Up
When Amber Heard's Character Conveniently Keeps Showing Up
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Image Source: Marvel
When Donald Glover Shows Up and Freestyles a Custom Sex Ballad
When Donald Glover Shows Up and Freestyles a Custom Sex Ballad
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Image Source: NBC
When Your First Look at Joe Manganiello Is His Butt
When Your First Look at Joe Manganiello Is His Butt
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Image Source: MTV
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