REVIEW: MAGIC MIKE
SYNOPSIS: Mike (Channing Tatum) is an entrepreneur. A man of many talents and loads of charm, he spends his days pursuing the American Dream from as many angles as he can handle: from roofing houses and detailing cars to designing furniture from his Tampa beach condo.
But at night... he's just magic.
The hot headliner in an all-male revue, Magic Mike has been rocking the stage at Club Xquisite for years with his original style and over-the-top dance moves. The more the ladies love him, the more they spend, and the happier that makes club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey).
Seeing potential in a guy he calls the Kid (Alex Pettyfer), Mike takes the 19-year-old under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of dancing, partying, picking up women and making easy money. It's not long before the club's newest act has fans of his own, as the summer opens up to a world of fun, friendship and good times.
Meanwhile, Mike meets the Kid's captivating sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). She's definitely someone he'd like to know a lot better, and it looks like he has a chance...until his lifestyle gets in the way.
REVIEW: Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape - 1989) is at it again, this time bringing us the erotic drama/comedy Magic Mike, which is draped in sexual prowess and a hint of romance. By humanizing the often shady underworld of erotic dancers, Soderbergh is able to bring us one of the summer’s most provocative high-tempo male-revue flicks not seen since Boogie Nights (1997). It seems to be a “Chippendale dancers” meets Step up the movie, with lots of tantalizing dance numbers that exude masculinity and encompasses over the top greased-up, stripped-down, body-shot-fueled decadence. It is certainly not for the faint of heart or the sexually introverted.
This somewhat over-the-top story was apparently derived from lead man Channing Tatum's early career experiences as a stripper before his acting career took off, but its basic ingredients are simple enough that it could have been conceived from scratch. It has a basic story line that flows quite well with what one would expect of the “Male Stripper” line of work and comes across as very believable and realistic set of scenarios. And yes, it is quite conceivable that they go thong shopping. The job requires them to rehearse their routines almost daily. They lift weights backstage and they count their dollar bills when "It's Raining Men" has stopped booming from the sound system and their work is done. Even the after-hours hook-ups with liquored-up ladies from the audience feel like one more obligatory step, like brushing your teeth before going to bed. As an audience member you are left with the feeling of authenticity and absolute believability.
Nevertheless, this flick is most certainly eye-candy for the female viewership, and less for the heterosexual male. With the amount of, normally off limit male body parts shown in this film, it would be an understatement to say that most women will go to see this film primarily for it raunchy erotic sceneries that include the likes of a naked Channing Tatum, or a Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello strutting on stage in barely-there costumes.
On the other hand, Magic Mike’s philosophical side is about growing up, knowing yourself, not defining yourself by what you do and taking responsibility for your life. It's about more than just words with a focus on taking risks and knowing who your friends are. Friends that will tell you what you don't want to hear, but what you need to hear. Making the right choices and following through with them.
Overall, because of the pro-feminine appeal of this latest Soderbergh release, I truly believe most women will enjoy this flick from beginning to end; Therefore, I feel compelled to give three and a half stars for entertainment value.
By Movie-Man Stan
MOVIE REVIEWS >>>
Submit Your Movie Review