For me, the majority of comic book movies have lost their spark in recent years. Besides Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest films from Marvel and DC Comics feel cold, calculated, and a little joyless. I look at the trailer for the upcoming The Fantastic Four — which could very well turn out great — and wish we'd had a chance to see the once-rumored Thunderbirds Are Go-style adaptation of the superhero quartet. I miss fun, especially in event movies. Longtime fans sometimes think of fan service as obscure references to deep cut characters and moments, but I believe fan service can be the simple act of giving the audience exactly what it wants.
'Jump on it'
The editors of the trailer for Magic Mike XXL understand fan service. The movie itself will likely be as dramatic and complex as its predecessor, but for the marketing, the folks behind the film seem to know exactly what the audience wants. The trailer begins with Channing Tatum grinding sparks off a long blade of steel and ends with the words "You're welcome" in bold font.
And listen: I'm not a man who seeks out male strip clubs or close-ups of abs, but that doesn't prevent me from respecting the dance moves of Channing Tatum set to "Pony." A great sports site once told me, "Everything's better with Pony." I have to agree.
In the words of a handful of Vox Media staffers after watching the trailer: #blessed.