Magic Mike Movie Review

At the beginning of MAGIC MIKE I slowly got into the vibe of the film thanks to the women in the audience hooting and hollering, excited for the sexy men of Hollywood to strut their stuff.  I’m surprised the lady behind me didn’t pass out from sheer joy the first time we see Channing Tatum head to toe in the buff (the view was from the back – no full frontal). Claps, shrieks and shrills, the audience was primed for what could have been an entertaining flick about the behind the scenes shenanigans of an all male revue.  Alas, the first words out of my mouth after the ending credits rolled were “That. Was.  Horrible.”  MAGIC MIKE is one of the worst ‘dance’ movies I have ever sat through, wishing, praying, the boring film would finally be over.

Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum in Magic Mike

In MAGIC MIKE, we follow Mike (Channing Tatum) in his struggle to go from multi-tasking entrepreneur to custom furniture maker, never quite cutting it due to a lack of focus, a horrible credit score and the fun he has with his revue buddies getting in the way. Deciding against his better judgment, he helps Adam/The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) get a props job at the bar.  When one of the performers passes out before going on stage, Mike and Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) push The Kid onto the stage to see what he’s made of. BAM. A stripper is born.  With a promise to The Kid’s big sister, Brooke (frowny-face Cody Horn), Mike takes him under his wing, shows him the ropes and becomes a mentor to the eager performer.

Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum in Magic Mike

There are a number of things wrong with this film and I’m not talking about the exploitation of the male physique. This film is poorly constructed with lackluster performances and is about 45 minutes too long. Generally a fan of director Steven Soderbergh (OCEAN’S ELEVEN, TRAFFIC, CONTAGION ) I was intrigued to see what he would bring to this genre. Flashy titles explaining what month we were in (unnecessary), interesting drug sequences and painfully long camera shots that did not help propel the story. Soderbergh usually gets the most out of his actors but all he got from Tatum was choppy dialogue whenever the scenes turned from fun to serious.  Tatum should stick to the dancing and comedic roles (like the fantastic performance he delivered in 21 JUMP STREET) and forgo all dramatic pieces because it just makes him look like a dumb man with a pretty face.

Channing Tatum, Cody Horn, Olivia Munn in Magic Mike

The dance moves made me think of Tatum in STEP UP or his brief moments in STEP UP 2: THE STREETS. There was nothing new (aside from him missing pieces of clothing) and I felt cheated.  Sure, there were some fun moments and montages of the guys in fatigues for the Independence Day show, dressed as Tarzan, EMTs, cowboys, Ken dolls, and firefighters… you couldn’t help but laugh at the silliness of it all.  But the story lacked any emotional appeal. I did not care much about Pettyfer or Horn. Pettyfer felt one note and bland. Why does Horn have to look so stern throughout the picture? She only smiles after flirty moments with Tatum but for the most part looks like her acting is based on how much she can frown. McConaughey is one of the better characters in this picture. He is more than alright, alright, alright; he’s excellent as  the self-involved, leathery, club owner.

Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike

MAGIC MIKE might be the worst movie I have seen in 2012. I cannot even recommend to skip this in the theater and wait for DVD/Blu-ray because without the screaming ladies in the audience you will be bored out of your mind with this unfulfilling lackluster stale picture.


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