Movie Review: Magic Mike

by | Jun 29th, 2012 | 10:00PM | Filed under: Movies, Theatrical Reviews

It’s raining men, indeed. Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Reid Carolin’s take on the world of male strip clubs—inspired by its leading man’s real-life story—bursts with eye candy and delivers a few great performances (both on-stage and off), but is dragged down by its predictable “Strippers are people, too!” plot.

Who’s in it? Channing Tatum (“Magic Mike” Lane), Cody Horn (Brooke), Alex Pettyfer (Adam, aka “The Kid”), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas), and a bunch of other good-looking beefcakey dudes.

What’s it about? Mike meets the directionless Adam while they’re both working at a construction site. Mike soon takes Adam under his wing and into the male stripping scene—specifically to the club (hilariously named Xquisite—that’s just perfect) where Mike headlines. The always-energetic-but-a-touch-sleazy manager and emcee, Dallas, decides to give Adam (now crowned “The Kid”) a chance after Mike pushes Adam onto the stage in a moment of desperation. As Adam learns literally within just a few hours that fateful night, there’s easy and seemingly unending money, booze, and women for the guys in the biz. But the good times come with a price. Adam becomes quickly overwhelmed by the darker side of the industry (namely, drugs) while Mike struggles to save up enough money to start his own custom-furniture-making business and stop baring it all for a living.

What’s good? I was a Channing Tatum doubter until I saw 21 Jump Street. The guy may look like the biggest and dumbest meathead of all time, but he actually comes off as intelligent, charming, and surprisingly funny. Combine that with the similar strengths of Matthew McConaughey in what might just be the perfect role for the bongo-loving Texan, and you’ve got a great time on your hands. The scenes with all of the guys (and no, I’m NOT just talking about the, um, “dance” routines) were what gave Magic Mike its heart. As demonstrated by the Ocean’s films, Soderbergh knows his way around male bonding and friendships, and of course Tatum’s producing partner Carolin had his star’s own pre-Hollywood exploits to work with. There’s not a bad performance or bit of dialogue to be found.

What could’ve been better? There is, however, an unnecessary character to be found. While Cody Horn owns a chilling and climactic scene where Brooke (who’s Adam’s sister) becomes crazed with anger and fear over her brother’s downward spiral, her character struck me as just “blah” otherwise. I didn’t sense a true spark between her and Mike and felt their blossoming romantic relationship was shoehorned into the plot unnecessarily. The film could’ve just as easily made its (already weak) point without Brooke. Why not let Mike be the one to lose it when Adam starts making increasingly bad choices? It would’ve kept the focus on the guys, upped the stakes for Mike to get his life together and move away from “his lifestyle,” and prevented the film from losing its energy and ending on a weak, uninspired note.

The bottom line: Soderbergh should’ve let Magic Mike live up to the ridiculous potential of its title and given the people what they really wanted to see: a high-energy, funny, and—dare I say?—smart movie about male strippers. Instead he played the tease with his talented cast and spent too much time on Mike’s personal struggle to find (and make something of) himself.

 Magic Mike boasted tons of sold-out midnight and opening-night screenings, so I know some of you reading this saw it!

What did you think? Would you have preferred less seriousness and more mayhem?

Or did you appreciate that it wasn’t ALL about the showing of skin?


Love Channing Tatum? Here’s some good news: he’s in a ton of Redbox movies. Catch him keeping his clothes on in:

10 Responses to “Movie Review: Magic Mike”

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Amy Livesay
    Posted on June 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    They was 3 of us that went and saw this movie. My personal opinion was I LOVED IT. The best part about the movie was the dancing and stripping. I wished that there was more dancing scenes. When we walked out of the movies a group of 60 and above ladies was ranting about it. One elderly pady said , ” its not natural for them guys to be able to move like that “. OMG. That was so funny we walked out to our cars laughing so hard. ” Mike” is such a great actor and dancer . Also did I said VERY MUCH EYE CANDY. So keep up the good work.

  1. Gerry
    Posted on July 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    The guys looked good. Didn’t care for the sleezy dancing. The story was OK and I even liked the ending. But it didn’t have what ever it was that made The Full Monte so much better.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on July 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I loved it. Channing Tatum was a hunk and loved the dancing and stripping. Matt Bomer from White Collar didn’t look to sleazy either.The movie was funny and had some suspense.
    It was refreshing to see a movie about male stripping for the female audience.

  2. angela
    Posted on July 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    i went with 2 other girls to see this movie. i liked the stripping and dancing scenes but the movie itself had no plot.. the actors acted good but the movie had no real story. needless to say i wont waste another dime on it.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on July 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Saw this movie with daughter & boyfriend. Personally, I enjoyed the movie,plot,& ending. It brought up some talking points about fast living,friendships, & regret. I bumped into someone else who said he’d see it 3 more times! LOL. In any case, Channing T. has mad dance moves & I loved the choreography & lighting- I thought the stripper club scene was pretty true to life. Matthew M. was hilarious as the showboat, shady, ringleader. I cant remember anything I thought was not good. 4 stars from me.

    • Currently 4/5 Stars
    Posted on July 14, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I enjoyed the movie. I do agree that Brooks character did not have her heart in it, making her character pointless. There were only a couple scenes that she even appeared to care about acting. BUT of course the dance scenes make up for her terrible acting. The director should have left out personal romances and let Mikes character discover himself on his own.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars
    E. Allen-Smith
    Posted on July 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Erika!
    And I agree with “Gerry” above. I think “The Full Monty” fully embraced the fact that women WANT to have fun watching the guys jiggle and shake and we appreciate it with a smile – not necessarily a lecherous leer. I think many of us would have appreciated MORE dancing.
    I also think the side story dragging the girl along by her cut-offs did more to drag the story down. Is it because the rest of us would have gone along with Mr. Magic because he’s hot, smart, considerate and might help keep an eye on little brother? – but that would have cut out the dramatic story-line (which sucked!).
    I would have been one of those “60-ish” women who went to the midnight opening – and I WAS shocked to see the abilities of those FINE YOUNG MEN *sigh* Just remember young ladies – we have seen (and felt) many of those things you only dream of… :D

  3. Shari Stone
    Posted on July 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Well, let’s face it…you go to see a movie about male strippers for the hot bods, so I was impressed to actually enjoy the plot of the movie. I do think the character of Brooke was unneccessary and added nothing of value…there just wasn’t any chemistry. I would have liked it to be a little more believable. The dancing itself was terrific, and I would have liked more of it…after all, that’s what I went to see!!

  4. Kristina Smith
    Posted on July 31, 2012 at 3:01 am

    The only scenes in this movie were the ones of Channing Tatum dancing. In my opinion, all the other dancers were stiff and unimaginative with their dancing – of course, as a veteran of male revue shows (in my youth, in my youth), I’ve seen some pretty impressive male strippers in my day. Knowing that Mr. Tatum was a dancer in his pre-acting days, I expecting more from him – and boy, oh boy, did he deliver! Matthew McConnaughey was just a little toooo sleazy for me – so turned off by someone who usually turns me on. None of the other actors did anything for me – yes, they were “eye candy”, but there was no character development for any of them and that was disappointing. “Brooke” was a little over the top as the overly concerned sister, and like everyone else, I didn’t believe or buy into the Brooke/Mike romance. IF I decided to buy this movie, it would only be to lust after, I mean appreciate the dance skills of Mr. Tatum. Hubba hubba.

  5. ne ne
    Posted on October 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Can you say SKIN!!! This was a great movie to see with your girl friends and stare at all those hot dancers! This movie made me want to go to a strip club and compare the dancers. i wonder if there is such a guy as Mike…hmm TOO SEXY!