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Magic Mike

Magic Mike

Released 11 July 2012
Director Steven Soderbergh

Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn
Writer(s) Reid Carolin

Reid Carolin, Gregory Jacobs, Channing Tatum, Nick Wechsler
Origin United States
Running Time 110 minutes
Genre Comedy, drama
Rating 16

It's raining men.

Sparing its audience from 3-D thrusts unlike its recent dance movie compatriots Magic Mike doesn't leap from the screens and instead stays in old fashioned two dimensions. An oddity in more ways than one this Steven Soderbergh film concerns itself with male strippers but seems relatively demure aside from onstage oily writhings, nods toward orgiastic goings on and some dappled drug use. Nevertheless unlike previous dance movie entries (and Magic Mike is definitely more dance movie than all male production of Showgirls) whose on stage players worked out their social differences, nascent sexuality or rebellious natures through the metaphor of dance (Footloose, Step Up, Save The Last Dance to name but a few) the dancing in Magic Mike unabashedly derides metaphor. It sells exactly what it shows, the illusionless appeal of sex and the avarice behind the cold hard accumulation of cash.

There's something of a reasonable story thrown in too, however, and for those who've seen enough male podgy bits on screen it luckily doesn't bear The Fully Monty's concern with the hidden mystique of the male paunch. Alex Pettyfer plays Adam a down on his luck college drop out sleeping on his sister Brooke's couch who things look up for when he meets Mike (Step Up's Channing Tatum). Soon Adam's embroiled in a lucrative world full of onstage antics, assless chaps, amorous women and novelty thongs. What could possibly go wrong?

Matthew McConaughy is uncomfortably believable as Dallas the oiled-up aging owner of the Xquisite strip club. While Channing Tatum comes across all introspective as Magic Mike, who like Saturday Night Fever's Tony Manero hopes to choreograph his way into a better life and dreams of kick starting his custom furniture business through a sideline in stripping.

Magic Mike lacks the dramatic chops of the in retrospect rather good Saturday Night Fever, its ending is rushed and its tacked on cautionary tale a bit suspect but getting there is still an enjoyable journey with a little more substance than you'd expect.

- Cormac O’Brien