The most anticipated movie directed at women since “Bridesmaids” finally hit theatres. ‘Magic Mike” loosely based on star Channing Tatum’s time as a stripper in Florida, opened June 27. Women turned out in droves and sold out screenings opening night.
The movie stars a bevy of grinding muscled men in thongs. Sounds like every woman’s dream flic, right? Spoiler: it’s not all stripping. There is an actual plotline.
Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaghey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez and Alex Pettyfer star as the G-string clad strippers and Cody Horn as the sister of the stripper whose concern for two strippers leads to an emotional conflict by the end of the movie.
Tatum is a stripper by day, “entrepreneur” by day. He strips for the easy money, saving up to start his custom furniture business. It is while searching for show patrons he introduces us to Adam, a down on his luck teenager, who is known as ‘The Kid” for the rest of the film.
When the club is in need of a quick fix, the Kid is thrust into the spotlight, literally, and strips for the first time. Finding it to be quick money, he commits to the club and its assortment of characters.
McConaghey’s Dallas begins showing some of his slimier side as the movie progresses. When his plans to move the club to Miami start to flesh out, Mike begins to see his true colors as well.
During this time, The Kid is introduced to the seedier side of the lifestyle and begins taking drugs. Mike had made a promise to Brooke, Adams sister, to keep an eye on him. With his attention distracted by his now cut stake in the new club, Adam gets in deeper and finally hits rock bottom.
Dallas is the typical, slimy club owner, who gets slimier as the movie goes on, because we finally see he really is slimy. The front for the character is the typical McConaghey charm. Magic Mike uses his charm to get through life, and tries to help out those who he feels need his help. Adam, looking for a good time, gets into the life of money, sex and women headfirst and never looks back, and the excuse is always his youth. The other actors are just there for show.
The movie has a few scenes where the women’s breasts are shown in full frontal view and one where Big Dick Richie is enhancing himself with a penis pump. The view is such, you don’t quite realize what is going on in the corner of the screen until you actually look at it, and by that time, it has shifted to Joe’s face fixed in an expression of pain and concentration.
The films plot is one typical of the setting. The stripper gets into the life, perhaps with good, maybe bad intentions, with the hopes of bettering himself at the end of it. Whether or not he makes it is the result of his choices, and those around him.
Steven Soderbergh didn’t really branch out in terms of the drama of a film, while the content may be a bit of a change for the “Oceans” series and “Erin Brockovich” director.
The film was by no mean one of the best of the year. It had decent performances by the male leads. Cody Horns acting was bland, and her blank stare and long pauses before responding simply got irritating. It makes for a fun girls night out, and except for the bits of nudity, is a fairly clean movie, all things considered.
Personally, I would have liked to see more of Joe Manganiello.