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Magic Mike

Magic Mike

What She said:

She

Where to begin, where to begin, where to begin?  Well, I guess I should begin by frankly stating that once this movie commenced and the ‘gents started dancing around scantily clad, I pretty much just morphed into a catatonic state with eyes glazed over and a silly grin on my face.  I’ve heard that Magic Mike is about a bunch of male strippers, but for all I know or care it could have been about a magician.  In fact, for once I think I can safely describe Channing Tatum’s acting performance as “magical.”  Dude’s got moves.  Creepy good moves.  Of course, I should have expected this considering he did that first Step Up movie and rumor has it that Magic Mike is based on his actual career as a stripper.  Not that hard to imagine…

Anyway, all kidding aside, Magic Mike really is about a bunch of male strippers.  It chronicles the life of two in particular—Mike, a 30-year-old seasoned professional, and the newbie, Adam, aka The Kid.  Adam is a generally good kid who is down on his luck.  He cannot really hold down a job and is living with his much wiser older sister.  Adam runs into an acquaintance of his, Mike, who takes him out clubbing.  The two end up at Mike’s afterhours job as a stripper.  The rest is history.  As the movie follows the culture of this strip club, we begin to realize that Mike, who has been stripping for six years, is really trying to get out of the business, saving up money to start his own custom furniture business.  Meanwhile, Adam, begins to spiral out of control, as he emerges as the next generation of the club.  There’s also a mild romantic hook to this movie between Mike and Adam’s sister.

Magic Mike

The film actually has a little heart.  But it mostly has a lot of thumping music, and near-naked men dancing around.  It’s actually quite funny at times.  The best part is a sequence where all the men come out and dance together to “It’s Raining Men.”  There’s many classic themed dances though—Tarzan, a fireman, etc.  I have to say that I was thoroughly entertained by this movie, and I went to church right before seeing it, so I really don’t feel that bad about the whole thing.  If you’re a chick, you definitely want to watch this with your girlfriends—there will be lots of screaming over Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, and Matthew McConaughey.  If you’re a dude, rest assured that there’s plenty of female nudity in this movie as well, although either direction there’s nothing too explicit.  The bottom line is that it’s supposed to be a fairly light comedy/drama that’s meant to be a little fun…and believe me, it is.

Thumbs up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What he said:

He

When the announcement for this movie came out, men around the world rolled their eyes in unison. Ok, they probably didn’t roll their eyes, because that’s not a very manly thing to do, but you know what I mean. The mockery began. A movie about male strippers? Nonsense! I get it. I’m not into macho bullshit, but I certainly didn’t have much interest in a bunch of dudes shaking their money-makers on stage while dozens of women fawn over them. It’s just not something most guys want to see. Not that there’s anything wrong with those of you who would. We’re supposed to be the ones doing the ogling, am I right fellas? Ok, so there might have been a double standard going on here.  Plus, there is just something inherently funny about male strippers. I don’t quite have the right words to describe why that is, but it’s true. Even women laugh at them. There’s a reason we make fun of it in stuff like this, this, and this.

Magic Mike is about the world of male strippers.  It is loosely based on Channing Tatum’s experiences growing up in Tampa, Florida. It’s basically sex, drugs, rock and roll, and some laughs along the way too.

Magic Mike

Mike (Tatum) is the headliner at the Xquisite Strip Club. He is one of several guys employed by the club’s owner Dallas (a most entertaining Matthew McConaughey), but he’s the main man. He’s also got big dreams though. Despite the fact that he’s the main act, he doesn’t want to be in the business forever. What he really wants to do is make custom furniture. He’s a pretty crafty guy too, and even has some money put away, but he needs a little more to start up his business. He hits a wall though when he tries to get a loan and is denied. He doesn’t really want to, but decides his best option is to continue dancing, and drown his sorrows in the lifestyle.

Somewhere during all of this he meets up with a young guy named Adam AKA “The Kid”. Mike’s day job is a construction worker (gotta love that) and Adam is new on the job.  Adam (Alex Pettyfer) is something of a screw up. He just got fired from the very job where he just met Mike. This is in addition to him getting kicking out of college for getting into a fight with his football coach. He is currently living with his sister Brooke (Cody Horn), who is the exact opposite of him. Adam eventually decides to join Mike in the male stripping business and “The Kid” is born. Adam quickly becomes fond of the lifestyle and shows signs of losing control.

Brooke is somewhat appalled when she finds out what her brother is doing. She doesn’t approve, but remains a good sport about the whole thing. She doesn’t want to come off as pushy and drive her brother away. Plus, her and Mike have developed something of a friendship. They’re kind of like the odd couple. Mike has promised to lookout for Adam and Brooke trusts him to do that. But like I said earlier, Adam is something of a screw up, and Mike isn’t as together as he pretends. He is having trouble moving into the next stage of life and finds comfort in the drugs, booze, and women.

Magic Mike is everything you heard about it. It’s loaded with guys in thongs and other ridiculous outfits. It will make you laugh. Hell the girls who uploaded this clip were laughing (you can hear them in the background). It’s almost impossible to keep a straight face while watching stuff like this. Like I said earlier, male strippers are funny, even if you are one of the ladies (or guys) who think they’re hot. Channing Tatum proved he can be funny in 21 Jump Street (review here) and he does so again here. Matthew McConaughey was born to play this role. We all know the story about the bongos. He even requested a scene like that be put into the movie, ha!

But what you might not know about the movie is that it’s not all fun and games. Sure, it’s mostly about buff dudes bumping and grinding, but there’s enough legit drama in the movie to make it a respectable film. Sure, Mike likes all the benefits that come along with being a popular stripper, but deep down he really wants to be done with the whole thing. But reputation, bad credit, and some other stuff make it hard for him to get away from it. It was a good performance by Channing Tatum, who has started to gain some respect after his last few movies.

Diagnosis: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on November 6, 2012.