Ramblin’ Movie Review: MAGIC MIKE – 2012
Blank Page Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars
I’ve also been a fan of, despite all his detractors, Matthew McConaughey. However, like almost everyone in a Soderbergh film, he’s awesome and kicks ass in this. MAGIC MIKE is the story about a young entrepreneur who, like most budding businessmen, moonlights as a male stripper. Channing Tatum plays the titular Mike, who is hustling through life as a stripper, in order fund his passions of furniture making. Well, who wouldn’t? Mike meets another young kid, Alex Pettyfer’s Adam and, through a series of circumstances, introduces him to the lucrative and rock star lifestyle of male stripping.ah, the stripper mentor & stripper protege meet…
The story of this film is about how this one character, Mike, is faced with doubt and life altering decisions regarding his chosen profession. But it’s not preachy or with an underlying ‘moral’. It just is. And this is the brilliance behind MAGIC MIKE: the scenes are not overly dramatic or with ominous overtures of background music. Everything, including the end, is just a story of things that are, which we as an outside audience are experiencing.
Like most Soderbergh films, MAGIC MIKE has amazing moments of unintended hilarity, which can cause sidesplitting pain. While at the same time, it’s got this real and gritty demeanor to situations where the reactions of the characters may be mirrored by any of the audience. The writing and screenplay is brilliant as the movie seamlessly moves through a format of a few months at a time.hilarity such as this: stripper training 101…
The story follows the pitfalls of any career that causes delusions of grandeur amongst its participants. A larger than life job causes Mike’s young and previously directionless protégé Adam, to start getting bigger than his britches. This causes tension between Mike and the budding romance with Adam’s sister, played wonderfully by Cody Horn. It’s this relationship with Horn’s Brooke, along with previous frustration of being in a dead end career, that forces Mike to take stock of his current lifestyle and revaluate his priorities.
As mentioned I’m a fan of McConaughey, not of man-crush extremes such as, oh let’s say I am of Gosling, but a fan nonetheless. I’ve always believed him to be a strong actor, but one that chooses easy movies. MAGIC MIKE is also an easy movie for McConaughey as all he does is show off his hard body and shake his ass. But beyond that, he gives a great performance as Dallas, Mike’s boss and the veteran owner of the strip club who’s only looking out for his own interests. It’s an easy role for McConaughey because it’s full of arrogant and dick-ish (no pun intended) behavior, which works for him perfectly. Granted the nudity through out the film is a little jarring for the average heterosexual male, but once those scenes can be winced and squinted through… the genius of the story performances is revealed.
I wrote off Channing Tatum as a beefcake with no real chops, until I saw him in 21 JUMP STREET. In MAGIC MIKE, Director Steven Soderbergh further exposes his acting talent to be of some substance. Again, it’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s real and Tatum delivers with honesty and a subtle eagerness. Surprising as it may be for people to know, that Tatum himself was a Stripper in his younger days, which is maybe why his performance here is that much more real. I have a feeling this is Channing Tatum’s coming into Hollywood. The subject matter of stripping might not have garnered him any nominations or nods from professional peers, however the role has matured Tatum as an actor for me at least.
Tatum is able to display shades of immense growth as an actor, with the comedic timing, the intense drama, not to mention emoting the inner struggle that is constantly going on within the character of Mike. This is where MAGIC MIKE excels, being able to show a character confident enough to take his clothes off in public, but essentially afraid of letting go of the safety net of his stripping career, to venture into something more respectable.
If MAGIC MIKE could be seen as something beyond a gratuitous male skin flick, then I believe more people would’ve been able to see the story within it that goes further than a novelty shock and awe movie.