Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Magic Mike - Movie Review

Honestly, this was not high on my list of must-see summer films, but I kept hearing that this was actually a fully realized film and not simply a showcase for Channing Tatum to shake his tight butt (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I was also curious that the film was loosely based on Tatum’s own experience as a young stripper. The challenge was, who could I go with to see this film? Because I see so many movies, I often go alone and sometimes my husband accompanies me. The husband would be out for this one, I would not even bother to ask, but going alone? I would look sort of creepy. My daughter, who has been a Channing fan since Step Up, was definitely interested, but she’s 19 so she was going with girlfriends.

As luck would have it, her plans fell threw and we decided on a mother/daughter outing, weird as it may be. I forgot that our nearby theater is also the place for the Thursday Night Farmer’s Market, so we got stuck in a traffic jam and missed the first minute of the film. For me, this is unacceptable. I HATE missing any part of a movie. For my daughter, it was the devastation of missing the opening shot of Channing Tatum’s naked butt. Normally, I would skip the film altogether if I missed any portion of it, but who knew when I’d have another evening with my daughter.

Mike (Channing Tatum) is a construction worker by day and a stripper by night. Of course Mike doesn’t want to be a stripper, he dreams of owning his own furniture company and gyrating his hot bod is a great way to build his nest egg. Mike is also a good guy, so when he meets down on his luck Adam (Alex Pettyfer) he decides to take the kid under his wing.

The audience gets to see two sides of the stripping lifestyle. Mike is not quite tainted, however we see the compromises he's made with himself in order to justify his chosen profession. He seems shocked when Adam’s older sister doesn’t want to hang out with him. She thinks their lifestyles are too different and Mike is surprised to find out that society will judge him as a person because of his chosen profession. He also doesn't seem to realize that he's really leading Adam down a dangerous path and just because he can separate his work and personal life doesn't mean someone as inmature as Adam can.

Adam on the other hand is like a kid in a candy store. He feels he’s fallen into easy money, women and drugs and he wants it all…now! Adam’s sister Brooke, (Cody Horn) spends the entire film trying to “save” her brother, but he does not have the character and foresight of Mike, so we know it’s going to be tough.

I like that this film did not show this as a rosy career choice and even took the time to illustrate how difficult it is to break free even if you think it’s something you can do for just a little while.

So that’s the serious part and the storyline, but you came here to hear about the stripping right? Well, this film will not disappoint. Channing Tatum is such an amazing dancer that he doesn’t need to take his clothes off, but I’m not going to protest. Unlike female stripping, all the acts seem to come with a good dose of humor and fun. If you’re embarrassed to watch this, trust me, you’ll be giggling away because it’s all done in a party type of atmosphere. I heard that Matthew McConaughey was not being asked to strip for his role, but felt very comfortable by the end and was willing to go for it. Now, I know many ladies disagree with me, but I have never found McConaughey attractive. It’s funny that he plays such a swarmy character here, because he always seems that way for me. What I will say though, he’s a real team player and gave it his all with a pretty impressive striptease. If your fan, you’ll find yourself very happy.

This was a pretty good film. I did feel there were a few too many close-ups Brooke’s party-pooper face used as the viewer's moral compass, but other than that, a far better film than I thought it would be.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be renting this on DVD so my daughter can glimpse that missed Channing butt shot!


Rachael Heiner said...

I went and saw it. I resisted the Channing for so long but finally had to admit that he's hot. I totally agree with you about Matthew McConaughey though! I do not find him attractive, and in my head I think he is sort of like his character in this in real life.

Blond Duck said...

Popped in from SITS! I saw this with my mom and sister. I was disappointed--I thought it'd be more like Step Up. I didn't realize it'd be so gritty.

Kim said...

I never get a chance to go to the theatre to watch movies,so I will have to wait until this one hits the rental stage...but I am waiting in great anticipation. I too have heard so much about it (both bad and good). I am one of those women who find Matthew very attractive (most of the time), and you can't help but think Channing is hot - so this movie is sure to be pleasing to my eyes ;) I am really glad that there is a decent story to it as well! Thanks for the review!! Stopping in from SITS.

Anna said...

I went with the girls for this one. And I didn't expect much, so I wasn't disappointed. But let's be honesty, you don't go see Magic Mike for the story line, do you? Then men were nice to look at and the party-atmosphere both on the movie and in the theater were fun. :) Thanks for the review!

Stopping by from SITS.

Runs Like A Gay said...

I loved Magic Mike, unafraid to show the seediness of the business it also contained a mix of immensely acrobatic and humourous dancing.

Soderbergh does it again.

Emily Lynne {The Best of this Life} said...

I kind of want to see this, even though it's not my style at all, I like Channing Tatum and think he's got a great sense of humour! Great review, I think I'll catch it on DVD :) Thanks for coming by The Best of this Life and a little word of encouragement on green smoothie making...if you find it TOO green at the beginning, add more fruit than vegetable and work your way to more...better to introduce it slowly than to be totally turned off. Have a great week ahead!