Magic Mike Reviews
Magic Mike is a unique combination of salacious stripping, boy-meets-girl romance and monument
to narcissistic indulgence.
Jarring the dressing room door open is ever versatile director Steve Soderberg. Starting light and getting progressively darker, his signature unique camera angles slyly deliver sex, illusion, comedy and drama. The well-staged dance routines and concept bring the best out of his actors but sadly the film as a whole feels somewhat disjointed and incomplete.
By day, Mike (Channing Tatum) is a builders' laborer, pet groomer and one-of-a-kind furniture marker; but by night 'Magic' Mike's entrepreneurial skills really shine -much like his well-oiled body,
supplementing his income as the headline stripper for Tampa Florida's flagship hot-spot, Xquisite.
Charismatic still-got-it forty-something club compere, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) is his
fast-talking boss that turns sleaze into an art form.
Retired from the stage, he constantly reiterates his plans to take his marginally successfully show to
Miami big-time with the help of Main Man Mike and his uncanny ability to attract the ladies.
Although he would prefer to hand over his hard earned $13,000 to the bank as collateral to pursue
his carpentry creating dreams, he can't walk away from the endless supply of cash, drugs and drunken women who hurl themselves in his direction.
Whilst at one of his many day jobs, Mike meets naive 19-year-old college-drop-out Adam (Alex
Pettyfer). When the transient Adam once again stuffs-up a chance at keeping a job, Mike takes him
for a drink at a local nightclub. Whilst chatting up young girls over shots, Mike hands them a
promotional flyer for Club X, promising an outrageous night for their 21st birthday celebrations.
Although initially shocked by Mike's professional disclosure, the impressionable Adam tags along for the night's escapades. Under duress from Mike, Dallas concedes to giving Adam - derisorily nicknamed 'the kid' - a trial job in props. Introductions to Mikes fellow dancers; Big Dick Richie, Ken, Tito and Tarzan (Joe Channing Tatum stars as 'Magic' Mike Martingano and Matthew McConaughey stars as Dallas in Magic Mike.
Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash) each with their own unique set of talents proves the job might be somewhat inappropriate. But when Tarzan's act flops last minute, inspiration strikes and Mike convinces 'The kid' to take to the stage. His awkwardly shy, first-timer innocence is an instant hit with an eager audience of screaming ladies; desperate to shove handfuls of dollar bills into his saggy everyday underwear. They love it; and so does Dallas realizing he has found the missing piece for his destined-to-be famous floorshow.
Adam quickly embraces his new lifestyle; however, his protective levelheaded sister Brooke (Cody Horn) disapproves of it and Mike. Undeterred, Adam plunges head long into the industry and everything it entails from flag baring G-strings to designer drugs. But can Adam handle the industry? Will Mike achieve his real goal to make furniture? Will Alex or Brooke derail his plans?
Making money whilst shaking your tackle at women may seem demeaning, but according to Magic Mike and friends, it is also an ultimately gratifying career choice and a lovely perve for the rest of us. The cast is jammed full of sculpted buff Lotharios dancing and gyrating through the first mainstream male stripper flick since 1997's The Fully Monty with exotic entertaining easy.
Tatum literally reveals himself to be a true leading man, a future standout from the new Hollywood acting crop as both dramatic and funny; and boy can he dance. Kevin Bacon would be proud.
The perfect actor for this role as a swaggering show-business sleaze; McConaughey hypnotically and salaciously strokes his way into the female physic in this mouth-wateringly and self-spoofing performance. Taunting the club goers and movie goers alike, "Can you touch this? No! No! No!" the entire cinema sighs in disappointment.
Although Pettyfer looks the part, he doesn't have the chemistry for the role or with his fellow actors and Manganiello and Bomer never really get enough camera time to engage. Horn however is wonderful, providing not only the voice of reason but a grounded and palpable chemistry with Tatum.
The choreography, costumes and production looks as slick and professional as its leads. The body work of the living, breathing sex machines is enough to help any modern woman vent her post-work frustrations even if the story is less than realistic or convincing. This is a definite tune out piece and nothing more, do not try to uncover meaning or depth, it is all spelt out in lowly monosyllabic words.
The Verdict: Although the female targeted titillation never quite reaches a satisfactory climax, there are some wonderfully orgasmic moments to be had.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 03/08/2012
Throughout the movie, Steven Soderbergh uses cinematography, music, and an insightful script to give the audience an exploratory view of Magic Mike's desperate search for meaning in his life.
Channing Tatum, who plays Magic Mike, will captivate you with the facade of a confident man who knows what he wants by night. By day, however, a literal light is shed on a man who is stuck in a reality he does not belong in. While Mike is stripping the audience is treated to a world filled with vibrant colors, quick camera shots, and energetic acting. Off stage, however, a distinct yellow camera filter is used to represent Mike;'s drawn-out hangover. The movie's soundtrack is also dramatically different from scene to scene, using hip, modern music to highlight the stripper's irresponsible nightlife activities, and gloomier music in the daytime, which allows the audience to see how heavy Mike's situation really is.
When Mike comes across Adam (Alex Pettyfer), who is ignorant to his own moral crisis, and Adam's protective older sister (Cody Horn), it becomes clear to Mike that his life choices affect more than himself. As Mike's attitude changes, the movie becomes less energetic and more dramatic.
Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, and Matthew McConaughey can all put on a show, but McConaughey's talent deserves way more than one dollar bills. While Channing Tatum's dance moves are a definite crowd pleaser, McConaughey portrayal of Dallas steals scenes with swagger alone. His ability to capture Dallas' charisma and borderline sociopathic behavior is unmatched among the cast.Overall,
Magic Mike's biggest surprise is its surprising depth. While most audience members expected the movie to be a gaudy sex-romp, which it is, it is also a character-driven piece that teaches a lesson about the dangers of an excessive lifestyle. Soderburgh and the cast have taken a movie that could've been a shallow film meant only for twenty-something girls that want to ogle Channing Tatum and turned it into a enjoyable film.
It's good stuff, and if you'd told me I'd ever in a million years give a shit about a movie about male strippers, I'd have probably told you that you were out of your fuggin' mind, but here we go, with numerous re-watches, including turning other people on to it along the way.
That's not to say the movie doesn't have its moments. This was one of the first hints of Channing Tatum's range apart from being simple eye candy (though the film throws a lot of that in too). Matthew McConaughey is also a thrill to watch although his sputtering character arc feels like a missed opportunity.
If you're coming to see hot guys dancing, there's plenty of that here, but the sequel may be more of your scene. At least it doesn't try and fail to stuff a character study between the glistening bods. 4.1/10
This movie was way way too long.