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.
**Looking for some delightful man candy decadence from Magic Mike? Head over to the Magic Mike, Coming Soon Page and endulge your senses.**
The reigning notion that Hollywood does not makes movies for women unless they are oozing with melodrama or hyped-up versions of the Cinderella story can officially be debunked thanks to Director Steven Soderbergh and Screenwriter Reid Carolin. Magic Mike is a movie made for the ladies, and the homosexual men of the world as well.
The story behind Magic Mike is far from ground-breaking. The costuming will definitely have people talking afterwards. Following male stripper Mike "Magic Mike" Martingano (Channing Tatum from Soderbergh's Haywire) the viewer is taken into the never-seen world of male stripping via the Tampa, Florida "Xquisite Male Dance Revue," run by former headliner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). Mike is the star of the show, so to speak, always appearing front and center in the group acts and he is a professional when it comes to getting the crowds of women excited. Women happily open their wallets and dispel dollars, sometimes even a five dollar bill, to have Magic Mike and the rest of the men shake what the gene pool favored upon them. In an attempt to not solely have Magic Mike be an objectifying experience on screen there are a few story lines weaved in between the sweaty dance numbers, ass-shaking, dry-humping, and bare bottom reveals.
Mike has a variety of odd jobs, besides stripping. He meets the young 19-year-old "The Kid" (Alex Pettyfer from I Am Number Four) on the job site of his construction project. A chance meeting later that evening outside a club begins their friendship; a friendship that changes immensely when The Kid joins the Revue. A rousing first-strip for The Kid takes place to Madonna's "Like A Virgin," naturally. The Kid brings a bonus into Mike's life besides more income at the Club as his sister Brooke (Cody Horn) intrigues him; mostly because she is not impressed or inclined to be a part of his lifestyle. The tried-and-true notion of 'you want what you can't have' rings true in Magic Mike. The fun of stripping, dancing, making women gleefully happy, making money, and having life be one big party soon finds the dark side for Mike and The Kid. It seems that it is not possible to make a movie about using the body for profit that does not harbor a dark side, unfortunately.
With Magic Mike you get the heart-racing excitement of a male revue, aka strip show, the very small emotional depth of a man trying to better his life in Mike and find a connection with a woman, and a look at what the spoils of a life spent having women shove dollars down your pants, or what little you are wearing, leads one impressionable 19-year-old into. The story itself is mediocre, aside from one twist at the end that would only be noticeable to a viewer who is very aware of standard story-arc structure as one character deviates from what they should have done. Mediocrity does not necessarily breed a negative experience. Quite the contrary. It may solely be from the outlandish and somewhat shocking display of the male body on screen, gyrating for the viewer's fetishistic pleasure, but Magic Mike is a great deal of fun to watch, experience, and more often times than not have your jaw drop open at what you see the men do on stage. It has a generous dose of humor, a touch of sweet sentiment, the drama of a destructive lifestyle, and even touches upon the American dream philosophy; not to mention the gorgeous cinematography from Steven Soderbergh that makes every scene look amazing. His choice to let the lights in the dance hall flare on the lens creating circular dances of color in frame is marvelous. There is something for everyone in Magic Mike--even the straight men of the world will have fun, while possibly learning a few new tricks. The film is definitely for the ladies, though, and it is an otherworldly pleasurable experience.
Welcome to the "Xquisite Male Dance Revue" featuring Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), The Kid (Alex Pettyfer), Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), Tarzan (WWE wrestler Kevin Nash), Ken (Matt Bomer), and Tito (Adam Rodriguez). Dallas is the emcee of the show, who does partake occasionally in the action on stage--his final performance in the film's climactic finale will leave you speechless as you see parts of McConaughey's anatomy that only his wife and doctor should ever witness. This group of men put on one hell of a show for the ladies; they bump and grind, shimmy and shake, and handle their respective body parts in glorious fashion. There are segments devoted to the troops with machine gun penis imitations, a fourth of july celebration, a recreation of Tarzan saving Jayne, and a living Ken Doll makes an appearance as well. Let us not forget the unforgettable "It's Raining Men" opening act. Everything the men do is themed, and they become every woman's fantasy every night. Can they dance? Some of them can. Nash's Tarzan is very stiff on stage, a hulking presence of a man more suited to play the part of the sexy giant than dance hall lothario.
When all of the men are on stage together their lack of professional choreography is on full display, a deliberate action by Soderbergh that actually helps sell the likelihood of this Revue existing. These men are not professional dancers, they are strippers, and each one of them has a different part to play and a different selling point. When they are all forced to dance in sync they are bound to have timing issues--no one cares, it still looks great. The reactions will vary based on the performances, but they are all intended to excite the viewer into a frenzy of hormonal mirth. Soderbergh pulls it off, with his subjective angles and voyeuristic tendencies with camera positioning. The entire cast has devoted themselves to making their performances the best they can possibly be on stage, and even off of it. The antics that take place behind the curtain are eye-opening; Big Dick Richie gets a little help from a Penis pump.
The greatest part of the dancing in Magic Mike is the reaction it breeds in the viewer. Blame the prudish nature of our society but many scenes are so outlandish, highly sexualized, and scandalous that you nearly look away. Covering your eyes because it feels wrong to be watching these men perform these actions is quite possible. Women are shown stripping in films and on television so often we have become desensitized. Seeing men strip off their clothes, place their groin in a woman's face and mimic fellatio is not a regular occurrence. Magic Mike does not play it safe, and that is something to be thankful for. Women have been taking off their clothes for the pleasures of men on screen for ages, its about time men did the same, while giving a crowd-cheering worthy dance as well.
June 29, 2012