Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Mike Lane is many things; construction worker, furniture maker and a male stripper. While working in a strip club within the Tampa area Mike meets Adam, a young college dropout who is looking to make a quick buck. Taking Adam under his wing, Mike teaches Adam how to make a lot of money being a stripper and how to party.
It’s easy to make a generalisation about this movie based on it’s trailer as many people would label Magic Mike as a movie about male strippers just like how the same people would class Brokeback Mountain as a “gay cowboy” movie. Magic Mike has so much more to offer than just male strippers and although that’s the profession on display during the movie it’s like Channing Tatum’s character says in the movie, “it’s what I do…not who I am.” Mike Lane has goals and ambitions that he wants to accomplish and he’s using the money from stripping to help achieve them. He’s a guy who is loyal and wants commitment but doesn’t seem to know how to act upon his true feelings despite the confidence you would assume he has from being a stripper so he instead settles for meaningless one night stands.
The title character of Magic Mike is played superbly well by Channing Tatum. He’s funny, charming and is extremely charismatic in his performance and who’d have thought appearing in the Step Up movies would’ve been a positive thing as his dancing was great to watch. He was supported by Matthew McConaughey who as usual delivers a solid performance as night club owner, Dallas. There are solid performances by the majority of the strip group which include a strong outing from Alex Pettyfer. He plays Adam who was on a football scholarship before getting kicked out for assaulting his coach. With no direction in life, Mike takes him under his wing and nurtures him into becoming one one of the guys, which unleashes a wild side of Adam that Mike is unable to control. Alex Pettyfer did well at being able to act both shy and nervous during his first time on stage as well as the confident young buck as he gains more experience.
Despite the solid performances on show there were however two disappointments which let the team down. One of the culprits was Cody Horn who played Adams sister Brooke who only wants the best for Adam and even though she disagrees with him becoming a stripper initially she’s comforted by fact that Mike is going to be looking out for him. While her character was well written Cody’s performance was shockingly bad especially during the sand party with Mike when she was having a laugh with him, her laugh was so horribly fake and cringe worthy that I wished for it end immediately but it kept going for another five seconds at least. She also played her character with a very monotone voice which depicted no emotion and her facial expression was that of constant constipation. How Cody Horn landed the part has baffled my mind and I can’t think of a good reason why she was cast. The second poor performance was that in the shape of Kevin Nash who is part of the male strip group. While he’s a big name within the wrestling world and physically he looks impressive but due to his basketball and wrestling career his knees are torn to pieces and it showed in his movement. His movement on stage in comparison to the rest of the dancers was extremely poor and he stood out like a sore thumb.
Overall, Magic Mike was unexpectedly entertaining which was full of laughs and the character development was crucial to making this movie successful as the story was a little thin. Channing Tatum was superb as Mike and I’m now looking forward to watching the second instalment soon.