...in which Channing Tatum and pals take it all off just for you - in high-def...!
Warner / 110 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: October 23, 2012
Nobody thought Magic Mike would have a fierce, brooding dramatic undercurrent to it, but with Steven Soderbergh behind the camera, it was easy to assume that there would be more than just man-candy in the mix. Alas, naked dudes are pretty much all this Channing Tatum vehicle has to offer. Magic Mike certainly engaged with cinema audiences - it logged a startlingly impressive opening weekend - but without the collective shared experience of ladies watching Matthew McConaughey drop trou with a theater full of folks equally excited to see it, the movie fizzles.
In fact, if it weren't for a top-tier cast and Soderbergh's classy-Hollywood pedigree, Magic Mike would be standard Lifetime fare at best. Supposedly grasped from the realities of Tatum's early career, this tale of male strippers and the lives they lead is surprisingly one-note, spending an audacious amount of screen time pondering its "Is this all there is to my life?" conundrums in blase, uninspired fashions. In fact, whenever the movie stays away from its beefcake jiggles too long, it festers.
The titular Mike here is Mike Lane (Tatum), a guy who shakes his ass to thunderous acclaim at a place called Xquisite, but dreams of a day-to-day life that doesn't involve flashing his giblets to paying customers. The owner of the place (McConaughey) obviously wants him to stay - he sees dollar signs every time Mike tears away his tight pants - but the rigors of dancing leave the guy with mixed emotions. Sure, he can own a room with his bod (and the bods of the dudes flanking him), but is that what he wants?
This probably comes as absolutely no surprise, but the viewers who will get the most out of Magic Mike are those who are solely interested in the bump and grind of its stars. If you want to get a bunch of folks together, pop in this Blu-ray Disc and hoot and holler at muscle beach heartthrobs in various states of undress, you'll have a blast. But the talent involved here should have delivered a bit more than just man-ass. Here's hoping they don't make a sequel....