“Finally, a raunchy movie featuring hot men taking off their clothes just for us!” said every woman in America when news of Magic Mike hit the world. Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t fully fulfill those requirements. It’s a total tease, but in the worst sort of way. It’s not even great foreplay. Now, before anyone says, “You missed the whole point of the movie, dude,” let’s just stop for a second. Fact: This movie isn’t just a film about hot men like Channing Tatum and that werewolf from True Bloodtaking off their clothes (I’m perfectly comfortable with my sexuality and I don’t mind that). It’s an actual movie-- not just Showgirls for the ladies. That said, Magic Mike is not enough of a “movie” movie for me to grant it anything better than average to slightly above status. Please don’t claim reverse sexism on me, as I watched this movie with my wife, and she also thought it was pretty boring.
Even worse than Showgirls, the ladies don’t even get their money’s worth out of it. Not once do we get a shot of Channing Tatum’s bare dongo flopping up and down. Not that I’d want to get a shot of that in the first place, but fair is fair, right? If I can watch a sci-fi movie (Not even a porno) like Total Recall and see some broad with three tits, you’re saying we can’t even get full-frontal in a movie about male stripping? What’s up with that, Hollywood? What’s up with that?
That’s the least of my problems (I can’t believe I’m saying that’s a problem) with this film. My biggest problem is that the plot is paper-thin. Basically, the movie’s about a male stripper who wants to be so much more than just a slab of jiggling meat. That male stripper is Channing Tatum, and we’re taken on an adventure of stripping, talking about making furniture, more stripping, and then, finding inner peace. Believe me, I’ve made it sound much deeper than it is.
My major concern with the flick is that there’s just too much dancing in it and not enough story. The whole movie is broken up like that. We get to see Mr. Tatum take a youngster underneath his wing and introduce him to the world of stripping, and then, we get to actually see some stripping. We then see Tatum try to hook up with the youngster’s sister, and then, we get to see some more stripping. Granted, this is a movie about male strippers, but don’t tell me it has a good story when it doesn’t. It seems like it has more dancing in it than anything else. And again, please don’t pin any male sexism stuff on me. My wife thought it was pretty lackluster, too. We both just wanted something more.
That said, Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey have a lot of charisma and really sell their roles. All the while, Kevin Nash (Dieseeel!) stands around like a big lug in the back while everybody else is dancing their ass off. It’s hilarious. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. But all in all, there’s just not enough going on here for me to give this an enthusiastic thumbs up. The characters try really hard, but ultimately, director Steven Soderbergh fails to make anything memorable. He’s usually like that as a director. He makes masterpieces like Traffic and Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and then, he makes garbage like Ocean’s Twelve, and Contagion. Magic Mike isn’t garbage, but it’s not magical, either. It’s just okay. It's nothing special. Even less magical than the movie itself is the special features. There are only three here, and none of them are really worth a g-string full of Washington’s. “Extended Dance Scenes,” actually features some pretty hot and heavy dance routines, and I’m shocked that they weren’t included in the film and were instead exchanged for much less explicit moments. In one key dance number, Joe Manganiello, is seen humping a table as if it were his last day on earth. It’s inspiring. In another moment, another dancer is giving it his all, flipping all over the place and pulling off his pants with such gusto that it’s hard to understand why it wasn’t in the film. What happened here?
“Dance Play Mode,” is pretty much all of the dance sequences in the movie played back to back--as if there wasn’t already too much dancing in this movie to begin with. “Backstage on Magic Mike,” features the cast and crew talking about how liberating--and yet scary--it was for most of the non-dancers to start taking off their clothes. Channing Tatum is all like, it ain’t no thang, since he had a small stint as a stripper in real life, which this movie is loosely based on, but everybody else looks like they didn’t know what they were getting into with this film. It’s pretty funny.
That’s about it. I’m not really sure what else I would have wanted to see in the special features department with this film, but, like the movie itself, I just wanted something with more substance. Maybe a work-out video on how to get Matthew McConaughey’s abs. My 8-Minute Abs VHS is actually broken and I need something like that. That might have actually been helpful. Otherwise, these special features are a dud. Don’t be lured, ladies. It’s a trap!
Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.