Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Written by Reid Carolin. Starring Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Alex Pettyfer (Adam), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas), Cody Horn (Brooke).
Bottom line: While I wanted to find Magic Mike refreshing because of the male sexuality, the lame dialogue and predictable plot ultimately lead to a disappointing movie.
Honestly, I didn't really want to see Magic Mike. I thought it was going to be loud, garish and disappointing. I thought it was going to be riding largely on the spectacle of male strippers, which wasn’t entirely the case.
The film can really be broken down into two main plots. One follows Adam, aka The Kid, played by Alex Pettyfer. He is something of a dropout who lives in his sister's apartment. He and Mike meet one day at a construction yard. The two talk and cross paths again outside of a night club. Mike offers the young man a job at the strip club (originally working the props then dancing). As his success builds, his ego grows. He gets mixed up in the lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock and roll. We then watch his downward spiral.
Meanwhile, we have Magic Mike who works construction, auto detailing and, most importantly, as a stripper. His dream job, however, is to make custom furniture "at an affordable price". He is working all these jobs to save up for a cash deposit on a loan to finance his furniture business.
We have Mike and the other strippers are "the fantasy of every woman...you are the husband they never had...you are the dreamboat guy that never came along...then they can happily go back to their husbands and kids." So, as strippers, they move away from being people and more the concept of a person. We also see his conceptual position (or lack thereof) with his relationships. In one scene, Mike is making out with his friend and tries to talk to her to connect to her on a level other than physical. She pushes him away by saying "Wow, someone has a lot of questions tonight- a real Chatty Cathy." Then she leaves. Once he moves out of the mold she cast him in, he is no longer desirable.
I have heard that Magic Mike is a depressing movie. I could see that with Adam. He goes from a loser to a bigger loser. But I found Mike's to be depressing in a more interesting way. He is struggling in a world which values concepts: the bank values the concept of money (i.e. a good credit rating) and women value to concept of a man. Mike, dreams of "working with his hands" to make something. He wants to attain a physical presence with a girlfriend/wife and through the creation of furniture. According to the movie, there is a particular honor in this but will he ever meet with success?
I was largely turned off by the dialogue. It is crude and rude with too many "bro"s. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not deterred by profanity but at least give me some substance to drive the movie.
The fact that Magic Mike was about stripping was an interesting move. Was I turned off by the concept? Heck no! I find it refreshing. It is a way to bring to discuss the idea of materiality without being too distracting. If a film was going to do the same thing with female strippers, I don't think it would've been quite as successful of a discussion.
The stripping itself was alright. I reminded me a little too much of Step It Up 2: The Streets.
I found the acting to consistent with the rest of the movie. It was good enough for me to get the idea but it wasn't anything to write home about.
Overall, I wouldn't really recommend Magic Mike. It raises some interesting points but it isn't enough to make this a very enjoyable movie. It is depressing and it feels like a long movie (even though it is only one hundred and ten minutes). I would’ve liked to see less of Adam and his story, because let’s be honest, we’ve seen this stuff a million times over, and more of Mike.