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This might come as a shock to some, but this is not really a movie
about male strippers. Yes, two of the principal characters are male
strippers, butas Channing Tatum's character (Magic Mike himself) says
at a crucial point in the film, "That's what I doit's not who I am."
Amid the bountiful buttcheeks and brawny pecs on display, there is a
real story here about ambition, and goals, and loyalty, and commitment,
and self-actualization. Yes, I used the term "self-actualization" in a
review of "Magic Mike"; I told you you might be shocked.
At any rate, plenty of folks (like the pathetic woman who was sitting behind me in the theater, the one who clapped like a poorly trained seal, guffawed, and cackled any time the least bit of male skin appeared on screen) will go see this movie because of all the hype about the hot male bodies in various states of undressand they will certainly enjoy the film on that very basic level. But let's be honest here, folksthis is a Stephen Soderbergh filmand Soderbergh does not use sex and titillation gratuitously. The plot is compelling, the film is well written and masterfully directed, and Channing Tatum proves that he is much, much more than a hot body and a pretty face. For his sake, here's hoping that "Magic Mike" can propel him along a career path similar to those of other handsome actors who managed to overcome "Movie Star" looks to prove that they were genuine actors. Like Brad Pitt.
Many people like to generalize things to make it easier to understand
the world. When the trailer for MAGIC MIKE was revealed, it was labeled
as just a "male stripper movie," like how BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN was just a
"gay cowboy movie." This generic label, undermining and downgrading the
film's actual quality, even overshadows the fact that Steven Soderbergh
is the director, who rarely make films that lack substance. Yes, MAGIC
MIKE has style, but it has substance as well. Here's the kicker: Those
who want to see the film primarily for the stripping may be left
disappointed, as they will likely fidget in their seats for these
scenes to come. As one lady sitting next to me said once the credits
rolled, "Worst movie ever." On the other hand, those who refuse to see
the film because of its subject matter may be missing a great film.
To state it simply, MAGIC MIKE is a BOOGIE NIGHTS-lite, which isn't a bad thing considering how utterly dark and depressing BOOGIE NIGHTS gets in its second half. The first half of MAGIC MIKE is light and breezy and quite funny. In fact, most of the jokes in here are funnier than most modern comedies try to achieve. We are introduced to this world that is fascinating because of how surprisingly mundane and economics-centered it is. The stripping sequences, filled with energy and sexiness, are mostly played for laughs. We get exposed to a lot of male asses, ripped abs, and pelvic thrusts, but it's all in good fun. Then, things slowly start to take a dark turn in the second half. It isn't hard to imagine people thinking, "Wait. Isn't this a stripping movie?" Characters start to make bad decisions and one thing leads to another and so on. You get the idea.
The cast is terrific all around. Channing Tatum is very good as the lead role, playing comedy and drama effectively. However, I want to give a huge shout out to Alex Pettyfr and Cody Horn, both pulling off terrific performances in their substantial roles. Pettyfr, in particular, I never really liked in the films he starred in before, but he is just phenomenal in this film. Horn, on the other hand, seemed to come out from nowhere, but her rapport with Tatum is terrific. Let's also not forget about Matthew McConaughey. Even though he isn't in the film that much, he steals every single scene he's in. He's just that good.
MAGIC MIKE will either surprise or disappoint you, depending on what your expectations are. Still, it's a film BOTH genders can enjoy, and it shouldn't be limited to "a movie for the ladies." MAGIC MIKE is funny and dramatic when it needs to be, but the main reason it succeeds is because of the cast. Overall, MAGIC MIKE is a very good film. Just don't expect a lot of stripping.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am going to make my review short, sweet, and to the point. Something Magic Mike was not. As far as the stripping goes and the first hour of the movie, it wasn't that bad. I actually had a good time. When the movie got close to two hours, I along with everyone else in the theater were ready to leave. That being said, I think the writer of the film was also ready to leave... his computer from writing the script, because there was NO ENDING... they kind of sum up two characters and thats it.. for the rest of the cast you spend 2 hours getting to know them, you have no idea if they die from too much crack or if they quit dancing or if they have fun at a new club... there needed to be at least a photo of each character with a small description of what happened to them next... NOT TO GIVE ANYTHING AWAY... but one of the main characters in the movie has a HUGE LIFE ISSUE, and they NEVER SOLVE IT, they give you nothing... just "WELL THESE TWO PEOPLE ARE HAPPY, THE END"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As I watched "Magic Mike", I was entertained and hopeful. Some of its
elements were fascinating and the storyline seemed to be heading in an
interesting direction. Each new scene seemed to lead toward a climax
that could make the movie's run time worthwhile.
And then it ended.
I was confused. So many things didn't make sense. So many questions were left unanswered. Where was the conflict's resolution? What happened to Adam? When did Mike and Brooke fall in love? What was with Tarzan's character? Did I have the wrong mindset?
The problem with "Magic Mike" is that it attempts to appeal to every form of movie watcher and, instead, appeals only to the ladies fanning themselves while mesmerized by abs and biceps. While Mike (a surprisingly decent Channing Tatum) is an interesting character, the movie's structure and story suffer from Steven Soderbergh's direction.
1. "Magic Mike" has no goal. No themes, no morals, no bottom-line. We see hints of anti-drug sentimentality, and Soderbergh draws a little attention to the effects of the male stripper world on the male mind. But these elements are only hints, and are abandoned by the time the credits roll. Mike doesn't regret his actions as a stripper, only that he continued to be one into his 30's. He dabbles in drugs in one (hyper-extended and annoying) montage-esque scene, but that event too has few direct consequences.
All this would be okay if the movie was a comedy. However...
2. "Magic Mike" isn't funny. Not by any stretch of the imagination. We have some witty remarks that are bound to induce some smiles, but the only laughs come from people's "shock" from the dance numbers. There are no jokes, no slapstick humor, and the dance numbers really aren't that amusing (to a male). The only truly funny scene is when Adam (a bored looking Alex Pettyfer) is first backstage with Tarzan and the other strippers.
If this movie lacks a drama's thematic elements and a comedy's laughs, then it must be a romance, right?
3. "Magic Mike" isn't romantic. In fact, Mike and Brooke (Cody Horn) don't let any sparks fly at all. A relationship between the two isn't even a possibility until they get into their first shouting match, near (what I assume to be) the movie's climax. Their relationship is never given time to grow because the movie's first half tries to build a story around Adam and Mike's relationship. However, the second half drops Adam almost completely and attempts to bring in Brooke. Both relationships fall flat, not to mention Adam ends up as a terrible human being.
In the end, what the audience gets is a casserole of movie elements and little of the satisfaction that comes from watching these types of movies because Soderbergh shoots high and misses everything. Also, "Magic Mike" is peppered with extended "erotic" dance numbers that add nothing to the plot and exist purely to satisfy the target audience: middle-aged women. These scenes, in addition to the movie's schizophrenic lack of direction, will disappoint any movie lover's hopes of seeing a film that provides insight into the mind of a male stripper.
At least, the audience could have used a decent ending.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A good poster, and an effective trailer, make excellent marketing tools
for a truly awful movie.
Anything good is in the trailer. The only scenes that are the slightest bit interesting are on stage in the club. The rest of the time it's actors spouting bad dialogue with little or nothing to do. Classic lines like "Hey" and "Hey do you want to get something to eat?". They walk and talk. They sit and talk. They drink and talk. They stare toward the right or left or look at the ocean like it's supposed to mean something.
Some of the original music is interesting and fits. The film has a golden tone appearance to the scenes outside of the club which becomes distracting and adds nothing.
There's a scene after the sorority fight scene that seems out of place before the confrontation in the club. There is no reason to like the thinly drawn characters, and even less reason to like the movie. It's too long, often boring and feels like it is yet to be written. Steven Soderbergh is tied for the most overrated director of this generation.
Don't waste your time, money, or eyes on this one.
Magic Mike is one of those many films that I could guess the plot
exactly before I saw it. I don't know if its because its super
predictable or if I've seen too many movies. Anyways, here is how I
predicted how the film would go down before I saw it: Popular guy with
pretty good life turns into a Disney princess because he wants
"something more" in his life than what he's use to. He meets girl,
falls in love with girl but is torn between his life and girl. He
(shockingly) picks girl with limited personality instead of pretty good
life and they all live happily ever after. That was my prediction
BEFORE I saw the movie.
I won't spoiler the actual film but here's what its about: Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) is a construction worker by day and male stripper by night. He meets pretty boy Adam (Alex Pettyfer) who lives with his sister, Brooke (Cody Horn) at work and gets Adam a stripping job at the strip joint owned by Dallas ("I see a lot of law breakers"...must a say HIS name?). Romantic fireworks explode between characters and Adam gets into trouble along the way.
Here's how I'm going to analyze:
Story: All I can about the story is that it is your typical romantic 21st century Hollywood film. You can predict the whole movie and ending very easily.
Characters: These characters were walking cardboards. Mike, Adam, Brooke, Joanna, Norah, even Tarzan, etc HAD NO PERSONALITY! The character that was somewhat interesting was Dallas and he stripped the least (sorry ladies). I could've cared less what happened to these characters because there was no depth to them and I didn't feel attached to them at all. We've seen these clichéd characters a million times.
Acting: I hated to judge this part because there isn't much to judge. The acting is...mediocre at best. Channing Tatum plays the role he plays in every film of his: the good guy with little personality. I feel Tatum CAN really act but he needs to expand his range like Johnny Depp does or Heath Ledger use to. Adam Pettyfer has tried to expand his range (like in "Beastly")but the kid, as good looking as he is, just can't act. Cody Horn was the weakest link. She'll probably be the next Julia Stiles, meaning she'll be cast in the same role in every film (good films probably) next to good looking guys even though she can't act.
These are the only things to critique on. The directing, music, editing, etc are not focused on at all. The only song in the film I could remember was "Its Raining Men". The directing had some shaky camera. I remember that. The visuals were...okay. If you like naked men.
Overall, the film was..."eh". I was bored through most of it and I left the theater with no intentions to ever see it again. I gave the film three stars out of ten. The film needed more "magic" in storytelling and originality then "Mike" just being your typical Hollywood dream guy that doesn't really exist.
So many elements that could have made this a truly original movie. Instead it's confusing, meandering and ultimately pointless. Alex Pettyfer, the innocent entering the world of male strippers has a good face a great body but lacks life, yes, that's it, he's kind of lifeless. Channing Tatum, whose story, apparently, this is, has a body that seems to have been shaped by a genius, but a face that looks slightly unfinished. I didn't get his character at all. As an actor Channing tries far too hard. Matthew McConaughey is a hoot, Great chest and he seems to be relishing the spotlight. So, all in all, entertaining and little, very little else.
This takes place in Florida. A 30 year old male stripper Magic Mike
(Channing Tatum) meets young Adam (Alex Pettyfer) who has no direction
in life. Mike takes him under his wing and gets him to be a stripper.
He also romances Adams' sister Brooke (Cody Horn). But Adam gets hooked
on drugs and things get dangerous.
First let's get the nude issue out of the way. There is only one full frontal in the movie--it's off to the side, is partially blocked and is probably faked. It's also very funny. There's mostly butt shots only but all are from Tatum, Pettyfer and Adam Rodriguez. This movie is NOT about the nudity. The movie moves slow (although I was never bored) and main events happen off screen OR are never explained! Still the movie works. For one thing all the acting is good. I was surprised at how good Tatum was. I never thought he could act till this. He captures his character perfectly. Pettyfer was equally good as Adam. Even Matthew McConaughey was good as the group's owner named Dallas. The strip acts themselves are incredible. All the guys are in good shape and Tatum shows some moves that are jaw-dropping! However they're not shot in an exploitive fashion. They're done in a matter of fact way that actually makes them seem quite funny. This movie (script wise) shows us nothing new but it was well-made and entertaining. This is not just for women and gay men--I think everyone would enjoy it. I give it a 7.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
my girlfriends and I were so excited to see this, we were thinking it was going to be a fun movie with some hot guys. Let me put it to you this way. In the beginning all the women in the theater were cheering and clapping like they were in a real strip club so I thought yaay this is going to be fun, then after the first hour there was no more clapping or cheering, you could hear crickets and I felt the same way. By the end, nothing gets resolved for anyone and you're just left thinking "what just happened" I give it a 2 because SOME of the dance numbers were fun and Channing was very nice to look at. As another reviewer said, if you rent the movie, fast forward to the strip dance scenes I promise you won't miss anything else. It's sad because I really wanted to like this movie :(
Well, well, well... I went on to see it thinking "You can't just get enough of pretty naked men". As it appeared I was wrong. First of all: although Channing Tatum here actually played his part instead of just being on the screen, I've had too much of his ego after first 40 minutes. Second: none of the cast, except for Matt McConaughey and Matt Bomer, was visible enough to create a full-blooded character. I will not mention their bad preparation, because I can't believe that you cannot teach Joe Manganiello how to dance. And third: it is really sad not to see the director's work. It seems like no one red the script to notice how bad it was, when it comes to structure and building characters. I got an impression that for some, money and wild party were the only reason to take part in this project. As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see more of "Let's make a good film" attitude rather than purely "Let's make loads of money from girls shy enough not to go into strip club"... It made me sad - I was counting on something that would be a start of amazing acting careers for Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez and Alex Pettyfer. Well, in my opinion this film won't help. Period.
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