- Running time:
- 110 minutes
- Channing Tatum -
- Magic Mike
- Alex Pettyfer -
- Adam/The Kid
- Matthew McConaughey -
- Cody Horn -
- Olivia Munn -
Matthew McConaughey salaciously strokes his private parts in the opening of Magic Mike (*** out of four; rated R; opens Friday nationwide), thus setting the tone for an entertaining workplace comedy with a dark (and well-oiled) underbelly and some predictable romance to leaven the raunch and swagger.
As Dallas, the obnoxiously slick owner of Club Xquisite, he sets some ground rules: "Can you touch this?" he taunts the ladies in the audience. "No! No! No!"
The rules are well-defined in his strip club. He owns the place and participates in the onstage bumping and grinding. He even croons sycophantic songs to his patrons, and seems to be having more fun than anyone.
Channing Tatum plays one of his strippers, the eponymous Mike, who makes magic on the dance floor. The story was inspired by Tatum's real-life experience as a stripper in his late teens, and the film follows 30-year-old Mike as he takes 19-year-old Adam (Alex Pettyfer), an unemployed college dropout, under his sculpted wing.
Almost as impressive as Tatum's moves are his comic flair and breezy grace. He proved his comic talents earlier this year in 21 Jump Street and shows them off winningly here.
When the movie is focused on Tatum, McConaughey and the hilarious, outrageous choreography of the male strippers (their costumes seem inspired by the Village People), it's particularly engaging. But when the focus drifts to more peripheral characters, or follows more serious plot threads, it's a grind.
Director Steven Soderbergh is nothing if not versatile, but when he tries to inject Adam into drug-hazed scenes that would have played better in his 2000 film Traffic, it's hard to care about the bland character's choices.
Mike calls himself an entrepreneur, but he makes his money as the hottest headliner in an all-male dance revue. His conduit to the American Dream is a gaudy G-string. Underneath that sexy exterior, however, is a sensitive guy dismissed as just a pretty face by women like Joanna (Olivia Munn). But within seconds of Mike meeting Adam's big sister Brooke (Cody Horn), we see they're destined to be together.
Soderbergh is known for his startlingly original camera angles and deft editing (see 1998's Out of Sight). Here, his signature moves occur at unusual times, such as on a car ride with a drugged-out Adam in the backseat.
Though movies featuring exotic dancers are more than plentiful, there hasn't been a mainstream male stripper flick since 1997's The Full Monty. More dirty dancing and less dull skirting around the main characters, however, would have made Magic Mike more freshly enchanting.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Magic Mike in Jersey Shore.
No Showtimes available
movies & tv reviews
Catch up on recent movies & tv reviews you might have missed the first time around.