Magic Mike Movie Review
Tatum plays Mike, a construction worker who moonlights as a stripper in a women-only club in Tampa, Florida. When he notices hot, 19-year-old Adam (Pettyfer) on the building site, he invites him along to the club, where owner Dallas (McConaughey) is hoping to take the show to the Miami big time. Soon Adam is part of the team (which includes actor-hunks True Blood's Manganiello, White Collar's Bomer and CSI Miami's Rodriguez), but he also gets tempted by the darker side of the scene, namely girls and drugs.
The actors and script go out of their way to tell us that there's nothing remotely gay about these guys, as they all have girlfriends (thinly written roles for Horn, Munn and Keough) and are just doing this job for the cash.
Although they're clearly having a lot of fun too. Soderbergh lets scenes develop in a raw, natural way that makes the stripping scenes hilariously entertaining to watch, mainly because the actors all know how ridiculous the choreography is. Tatum and Pettyfer are terrific in the central roles, while McConaughey tears up the scenery in a performance that could possibly earn him supporting-actor attention at the end of the year.
In other words, this isn't the silly romp it looks like. Soderbergh keeps everything nicely grounded while still drawing out the offhanded humour in every scene. Even so, the script hits a glaringly false note in the drugs plotline that drives the final act, sending the characters into a contrived criminal-underworld climax that isn't remotely necessary. Frankly, Mike's personal drama and the guys' teasing sexuality are more than enough to make this film worth seeing.