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Magic Mike, Naked Chests and ‘Bare’ Storyline

Bare bods and fast music can’t save the movie Magic Mike.  Even if the ladies think they are being entertained, it’s all a facade to cash in on a voyeuristic business that has risen from the sexually charged 90’s.  It may be a take on Tatum’s early teen romp to fill his pockets, but the actor did better with his “Step-up” acting than he does here.

The idea for the film came from a short stint by actor Channing Tatum who worked as a male stripper in Tampa, Florida when he was a teen.  Winning a pitch to Steven Soderbergh to direct the high female magnet, the co-producer even reprises his wild eyeful for the ladies.  From the opening nude scene (get there early so you can get a quick peek of the actor in the raw) you just know this film’s target market, ladies and gay males.

The storyline goes something like this; Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) has been slaving away to get enough money to encourage a bank loan to pay for his modern furniture business.  Working days tiling roofs and evenings as a male stripper, Mike has started to get a good bundle of cash together.  One day he meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a down on his luck teen who has taken a position as helper on his roofing gig.

Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and Dallas (Matthew McConaughey)

Introducing the teen to the Club Xqusite, he gets him a job as a stage assistant.  When one of the male performers can’t go on stage after taking too much of a drug, club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) takes a chance on Adam for a stand-in.  Well you know where this one is going and if you saw the trailer, it’s not much more than that.

Magic Mike is what I call a 20 minute film, one that starts out great for the first 20 minutes then becomes so repetitive that by the time the last 20 minutes comes along you already know what’s going to happen in the end.  Will the eye candy for the ladies be enough to carry the film beyond one sumptuous weekend? I really don’t think it will even carry the cost of making the film from what I witnessed at a recent pre-screening of the movie in front of 300 women.  Following the opening shock wave going through the audience of seeing Channing Tatum’s bare butt, the initial strip show with the gents showing more sexual gestures than their hot bods and some bedroom action the vibe mellowed, then fell flat.

Mike (Tatum), Brooke (Cody Horn) and Olivia Munn as Joanna

The acting here sucked and could have been handled by any ripped guy with some stage experience. In fact, a few Chippendale’s would have helped the film a lot as the choreography lacked realism even for the cheapest dives in most inner cities.  As far as the female love interest Brooke, Cody Horn is totally miscast to take on the likes of Channing Tatum.  Costumed in frumpy clothes, coached to be a coy innocent and surrounded by a myriad of lustful women, Horn looked lost.

Magic Mike has been rated R by the MPAA for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use.  Women may want to get to the movie a little early for a good seat, leave their significant other at home and group with several ladies if they want to get the full effect of this overly hyped illusion.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Ladies save your 1-dollar bills for the real thing.

Additional Film Information:

  • Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey) and Cody Horn
  • Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
  • MPAA Rating: R for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use
  • Genre: Drama, Comedy
  • Running Time: 1 hour 49 minutes
  • Opening Date: June 29, 2012
  • Distributed by: Warner Bros
  • Reviewed at: AMC West Shore 14 in Tampa, Florida on June 25, 2012

 

About John Delia

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John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for 8 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the South Eastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1.

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