“Steven Soderbergh’s Last Dance: A Fable Ahead of its Time”

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Magic Mike: The Last Dance: A Fable-like Film by Steven Soderbergh

Magic Mike: The Last Dance, directed by Steven Soderbergh, is a fable-like film that steps away from the current time. In this third and potentially the last installment of the adventures of Mike Lane, Soderbergh returns to the directorial role after resigning from that position in the second film of the saga, Magic Mike XXL, in favor of Gregory Jacobs.

Soderbergh is an award-winning director whose notable works include Sex, Lies and Video (Palme d’Or at Cannes) and Traffic (Oscar winner). Magic Mike: The Last Dance sustains Soderbergh’s authorial temper as he handles the camera with visual and narrative forcefulness.

In the film’s first few minutes, the opening canopy scene sustains this authorial style, but Soderbergh almost forgets about it in the remaining almost two hours. Mike Lane meets billionaire Maxandra Mendoza (Salma Hayek) and becomes an occasional bartender surviving as a drifting ship.

The story unfolds as a redemption tale that relinquishes the intelligence of the original by settling into a romantic narrative of muscular bodies that appeals to women’s cinema. Expectable profiles emerge such as the “new rich” from Mendoza, who has a wallet but no lineage and culture.

The film sustains contemplative aesthetics, as in the second installment, mixed with a certain social tone of the first. However, it is camera setup and editing in front of a story with a fable-like narration without appeal for a film that returns breezes of pastime to be seen at a somewhat-out-of-date gathering of friends.

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