Magic Mike Movie Review: “It succeeds!”
The first thing you notice about Magic Mike is the audience demographics. At the eleven a.m. Sunday viewing of “Magic Mike,” this writer noticed what appeared to be over a hundred women, five heterosexual males and one homosexual male couple. ”Magic Mike” is a film made to excite women and perhaps gay men. It succeeds!
To this writer, although “Magic Mike” is a film based loosely on the early life of Channing Tatum, the breakout star of the film is Matthew McConaughey who plays the owner of a male strip revue named Xquisite in Tampa, Florida. His character, Dallas, is a narcissistic flim-flam artist with unbridled enthusiasm to the point that he owns the role.
The plot basically goes as follows: Channing Tatum in the role of Magic Mike, works by day as a construction worker, auto repairman and furniture designer. His passion is for the latter but he is having trouble getting a bank to loan him money based on his limited credit history. This is due to the fact that most of his income is from his night job as a stripper which is a cash business. ”Magic Mike” portrays both the fun and dark sides of this industry.
As pointed out, women go to Xquisite to have the affair with the hottie they never had, or the one they believe got away, all while safely maintaining their marriages. The strippers, including small roles by Alex Rodriguez, Matthew Bomer, and Joe Manganiello, get a thrill from the almost rock star status and attention given by the female audience.
Director Soderbergh seems to be suggesting that this love of attention and adulation is a form of addiction that keeps the men in their job.
Channing brings a new player on the stage, “the Kid,” (Alex Pettyfer, a good looking newcomer) a nineteen year old he meets on his construction job. Mike falls for his sister (Cody Horn) who disapproves of the stripper lifestyle. The Kid soon succumbs to the darker side of the industry, selling drugs and getting high to the point of nearly losing his life. He also “looses” a large quantity of ecstasy fronted to him by the D.J. for the club. This nearly costs him his life until Mike pays the thugs who have come to collect with his life savings.
Dallas had promised Magic Mike ten percent of the business when they move to Miami. He then goes against his word offering less and informing Mike that he will go to Miami because he is an aging stripper with no other options. After being confronted by Adam (the Kid’s) sister that he will continue in this life if he goes to Miami, he realizes that he wants more then the empty high stripping allows. Mike quits and realizes a relationship with Adam’s sister.
While ”Magic Mike” is entertaining during the strip scenes, it tends to drag during the plot development. Editing may have helped improve this situation. However, Channing Tatum shows once again that he is a worthy draw. He displays a subtle vulnerability that wins Adam’s sister and the audience. He deserves the success he is enjoying this year with The Vow, 21 Jump Street and now Magic Mike.
Magic Mike Grade: B
Starring: Channing Tatum
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Gary Zarchy Biography
Zarchy has been an avid film and theatre fan since childhood. He grew up close to New York City and was exposed to movies and theatre from an early age. His interest in the arts eventually led him to a career in fine arts where he owned an art gallery in SoHo in New York City and an art publishing company in Phoenix, Arizona, his adopted home. Zarchy reinvented himself by channeling his enthusiasm for people into psychotherapy after achieving a masters degree in counseling. Along with this, he thoroughly enjoys his role as teacher at a University.
Films and theatre continue as his passion to this day.
Magic Mike Movie Clip:
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