MOVIE REVIEW: “Magic Mike” undresses all brawn but no brain
It might not have been magical, but there was definitely something in the air when “Magic Mike” hit the screens June 29.
With the release of the “Magic Mike” trailer in April, women celebrated men becoming the subject of the taboo practice of stripping. Social media was flooded with users’ favorite characters, while events were being created left and right in hot anticipation of the premiere.
While the movie was too simplified to be breaking any norms, it did bring into light one clear lesson: women can enjoy objectified men as much as men have appreciated the female side. They are also an important population to please, a feat that academy-award-winning director Steven Soderbergh and Channing Tatum achieved by focusing on what women want.
The film follows the men of Tampa’s Xquisite Club as they tease women out of their minds and money. It focuses on Tatum as “entrepreneur” Mike Lane and his work-hard-party-harder lifestyle.
Although Mike dreams of becoming a furniture maker, the economy has kept him working under the counter and on stage for years. After seeing Adam (Alex Pettyfer) getting fired, Mike takes him under his wing, introducing him to the local scene as “The Kid.” The two become friends, which ends up becoming the connection that leads to the movie’s not-so-great climax.
What I liked about this film is that it didn’t try to hide its appeal. Soderbergh knew his audience and what they wanted to see, and made sure to give it to them. The dance performances in the club were amazingly choreographed, and the music throughout the movie kept the energy and scenes moving.
The plot, however, was so boring it often brought down the characters with it, including Mike’s love interest Brooke (Cody Horn). Horn scowls through most of her interactions with Tatum, and was not believable or even attractive. Club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) was too chauvinistic to be appealing, although McConaughey finally has the perfect movie to flaunt all those muscles.
The true star of this movie was Tatum, whose months of professional stripping gave him the realistic moves, combined with the acting skills from such movies as “Dear John” and “The Vow.”
The perfect excuse for a ladies’ night out? More like the best ex-x-x-cuse.
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars
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