I pride myself on being an objective reviewer that is not easily swayed by the male form. But Steven Soderbergh is making this very difficult for me when he serves up a cast that includes Channing Tatum, Mathew McConaughey and Joe Manganiello ( Alcide from True Blood). As male strippers! God help me!
For those who don’t know this is the film formally known as the Channing Tatum Stripper movie. Tatum, who also produces the film, stars as Mike, a male stripper who takes Alex Pettyfer’s The Kid under his wing and introduces him to a world of excess where girls fall at their feet. It’s a film based on Tatum’s own experience as a male stripper before he hit the big time. At first it was feared this could be the male Showgirls until Soderbergh was announced as director. Could Magic Mike go from being a lame joke to a credible, possibly award worthy film?
For anyone going to see the film expecting hot guys in very little clothes, they won’t be disapointed. The guys look amazing and no one is shy about showing off their bodies. However this isn’t just a film based on looks. At the centre of it we have Tatum’s Mike, a likeable, ambitious guy who hopes to get out of the stripping business to set up his own carpentry store. We follow Mike as he tries to get a loan to start up his new venture, see him becoming friends with The Kid and romancing The Kid’s older sister (a great turn by Colby Horn). Along the way we see the darker, seedier side to his world and see him wonder if he has made the right choices in life.
Tatum continues on his way to becoming a surprising versatile actor. From his breakthrough performance in Step Up we’ve seen he can dance, in A Guide To Recognising Your Saints showed us his serious side, and 21 Jump Street proved he can do comedy. Magic Mike gives Tatum that chance to show all his skills here and he looks like he’s enjoying the chance to stretch himself.
Right now I’m leading the charge for Matthew McConaughey to get nominated for next year’s Best Supporting Actor. His brash, shameless bar owner Dallas is hilarious and McConaughey looks as though he’s having the time of his life (perhaps glad he’s got away from the string of so-so rom coms he’s been stuck with for the last few years-except How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, that one’s great).
Yes this is a film mostly for the ladies (and some men) to enjoy ogling hot guys but happily this film offers more of a plot than that, as well as characters you are happy to follow for an hour and 50 mins.
4/5 Good looking guys, great acting and an engaging story to boot, what more can you want? There’s even female nudity if the guys are feeling left out.