Eyeing the movie posters of four chiseled men all tanned and glistening, I couldn’t resist paying top, opening-night dollar to watch man candy on the big screen in the movie Magic Mike.
The movie theater, naturally, was full of women (although at the last minute, a few sheepish men walked in begging their wives to allow them to sit in the back). It was a lively crowd, the women swooned out loud as the men pranced across the screen and the clothes flew off—just as if we were all extras in the movie.
At the beginning, we are introduced to the main character, Mike (Channing Tatum), a 30-year-old stripper with an entrepreneurial spirit. He works multiple jobs and hopes to use his dollars (literally the $1 bills he collects from his all-male revue show) to start a custom furniture company. Unfortunately, his lack of credit due to poor life decisions doesn’t qualify him for a bank loan. He meets a lowly, down-and-out 19-year-old addict named Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and introduces him to the world of stripping. Mike ends up playing a big brother of sorts and falls for Adam’s sister Brooke (Cody Horn).
The first dance number with the attractive cast is funky, cheesy and offers plenty of soapy goodness for the ladies. Tatum totally delivers with his perfect hip hop skills mixed with his stripping abilities from his days as an actual stripper before hitting it big in Tinsel Town.
Unfortunately, this is where the fun stopped. The movie trailers were just a tease—that campiness and bubble gum movie style that appeared in any of the movie’s marketing did not make it into the actual film. The movie was seedy and dark, showing far too many sordid tales of drugs, anger and plain old bad acting. For those themes, I can just turn on an episode of Law and Order—and watch better acting.
I didn’t really understand the director’s take on the movie. Some shots were very yellow, making the movie appear old and vintage, as if sunlight destroyed the footage. Also, the background actors were very loud, making it difficult to understand the dialogue of the main characters—not that I was missing much, the dialogue was pretty weak.
I did, of course, appreciate the entertaining choreography of the dance numbers woven throughout the movie, which added a lightness to the otherwise gloomy feel. I especially enjoyed the number with Matthew McConaughey getting absolutely accosted by women. He looked as if he were taking pleasure in it as well.
But those lucky extras! I can only assume that watching Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer in person would be a top life highlight.
Bottom line: Purchasing the DVD will allow you to fast forward the slow parts and watch Channing Tatum in fatigues over and over again.