The one movie I wanted to see this summer wasn’t The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises or even Brave. It was Magic Mike. Magic Mike is the current, hottest Hollywood It actor, Channing Tatum’s baby project, basically an ode to his days when he was once a nineteen year old stripper in Tampa, FL. I admit, one of the main reasons I wanted to see Magic Mike was for all the luscious mantitty. And let me tell, you there was a whole lot of waxed, buffed nomalicious men in this movie, including enough muscular naked tushes to make your jaw drop in lusty wonder.
On the surface Magic Mike may be seem to be a fluffy, popcorn movie, but it has more to it, which surprised me to a certain point. And it really says something when you have a very respected director such as Steven Soderbergh directing the movie. There’s a few morals taught here and it has a very Oliver Twist feel to it. In all I was pleasantly surprised by the plot and how much I enjoyed Channing because I’ve never been a fan of his work and his overall physical package doesn’t do much for me. But he really made this movie an excellent viewing experience, and the man not only has some awesome stripping moves, but excellent dancing moves, which is well know if you’ve seen him in the 2006 movie, Step Up.
Magic Mike is about Mike Lane, a thirty year old, business multi-tasker. Mike has a few side businesses such as working in construction and building original pieces of furniture, which he hopes to expand into more of a business. But most of his money comes from stripping at Xquisite, the strip club owned by Dallas, who is also Mike’s mentor of sorts. Dallas is played by Matthew McConaughey who is quite the character here. If you’ve seen him in Tropic Thunder, you know Matthew’s comedy acting style. He breathes such life into this movie. Mike has his crew of stripping buddies, showcasing some familiar hotties such as Matt Bomer, who seems to be the only married man among the bunch, Joe Manganiello who goes by Big Dick Richie, for obvious reasons (he uses a penis pump to enlarge his anatomy during the shows) and Adam Rodriguez from CSI: Miami fame who is very ripped and oiled up. Unfortunately because the focus was mainly on Mike and his protégé, slacker turned stripping professional Adam, the other men were wasted and were one-dimensional, only used to awe the audience by their incredible stripping and dance movies. Adam, played by Alex Pettyfer gives his character a vulnerability that works. And this is where the Oliver Twist element comes into play. Mike is the Artful Dodger, Dallas is Fagin and Adam is Oliver Twist. Mike nicknames Adam, The Kid, which becomes his stage name, and after working on a construction job with Adam that ends badly for The Kid, Mike takes him under his wing.
Adam is crashing with his sister, Brooke, played by Cody Horn who wasn’t that bad as I was expecting, but still doesn't have much to recommend acting wise. She’s the daughter of the former president of Warner Brothers, and I honestly think she got the role because of that. Her portrayal of Brooke was poor. She had a constant sour puss on her face and acted like she had a stick up her ass the entire time. I’m not sure if she was given the direction to be this way, but she brings the movie down and the attraction that is built upon between her and Mike isn’t there and doesn’t make sense since Mike has growing feelings for his booty call, Joanna, played by Olivia Munn in pretty much a throwaway role.
As Adam falls deeper into the party lifestyle Mike is a part of, he becomes even more unstable by doing drugs and selling them. Mike is then caught in a situation he doesn’t want to be in. Even though Mike is treated like a near god in his group, he longs for respectability and wants to leave the stripping lifestyle and become a legitimate business man. But for all his respect, money and power, much like Dallas has, he is stuck in a corner and can’t get out.
Magic Mike is what I call an on a surface movie with not much meat to it. So much more could have been done to really give this movie a well rounded, dimensional plot to it. At times it felt flat because so much of the focus was on Mike and Adam. There’s a small subplot with Dallas and Mike but it doesn’t really go anywhere and I would have liked more screen time for the other strippers. Since I’m a big, big fan of Matt Boomer, I wish he could have had a more primary role because he’s so charming on screen. There’s one scene with him, his wife’s breasts and Adam that’s a little naughty but also gave me a good laugh.
Magic Mike shines the most during the stripping and dancing scenes. These men are a fine tuned oiled machine and they must have worked their butts off with non-stop exercise and practice to create such inspiring dance moves and stripping acts. This may sound silly, but at times I felt like I was watching a ballet, especially when Channing does his act. The man has incredible moves that should be applauded. Also, Matthew M. does a strip tease that will leave you speechless and fanning yourself. At forty-two years old, Matthew’s body is beyond ripped and his smile…oh my....oh my...oh my…no words…thump.
Magic Mike was a fun time that really made me change my mind about Channing’s acting skill. He’s very lovable here and has some depth I wasn’t expecting. I just wish the overall story and script had more to it. Plus, the ending is open ended so expect a sequel, which has been announced.
Magic Mike is geared toward a female audience who is all for beautiful men proudly showing off their almost naked sexy wares, knowing everyone will have a big smile on their face. I sure did.
Final Grade: B-
Fun Fact: Magic Mike cost a very reasonable $7 million to make and has made over $100 million.