Channing Tatum stars in this drama following an upstart male stripper (Alex Pettyfer) who is mentored by a veteran dancer, played by Tatum. Steven Soderbergh directed from a script by Reid Carolin, whose screenplay was inspired by Tatum's work as a stripper before he made it in Hollywood. Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Cody Horn, and Olivia Munn co-star. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Matthew McConaughey
Release Date: Jun 29, 2012
Rated R for language, Brief Graphic Nudity, Pervasive Sexual Content and Some Drug Use
Runtime: 1 hr. 50 min.
Magic Mike has a certain audience in mind and needless to say I’m not quite the demographic. Regardless, Steven Soderbergh’s take on the world of male strippers is surprisingly well made and acted. Soderbergh’s film is a visually energetic and decadent look into a world which is all about appearance but ultimately hollow. The story itself feels like many a rock star film with similar trajectory, pitfalls and moments of clarity for the main character. Sprinkle in a bit of Saturday Night Fever with plenty of male thongs and assless chaps. In the lead Channing Tatum delivers his best performance of his career. He’s naturalistic and incredibly comfortable in the role, for obvious reasons, displaying the conflicted nature of his character. Matthew McCounaughey feels equally comfortable as the self deluded owner of the club. It’s the most committed I’ve seen him in a role in a long while, probably because he felt a certain connection with the character. Alex Pettyfer is impressively non descript for the first half of the film and utterly wasted in the 2nd, the transition feels unnatural and the performance doesn’t help. Cody Horn is even worse as her sister with some truly terrible displays of acting. The remaining chiseled and greased cast is mostly relegated to the background, stripping to insanely complex chorography especially when you consider it’s supposed to be a seedy male strip club. I do give the film credit for not taking the easy road, this could have easily been lighthearted fluff like Striptease or Showgirls.