Review : Magic Mike (2012)
"Work all day. Work it all night."
Released (UK) 11th July 2012, Rated 15. Runtime: 110 minutes (1 hours, 50 minutes).
Official Synopsis: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.
Blue Corner Review, by Pete
Added August 28th, 2012
Slightly misled in the sense that I was under the impression that this was a ‘click flick’ comedy revolving around the world of male strippers, there’s no excuse for the banality of the plot on offer – what is quite interesting, however, is that had the sexes been reversed and the film renamed to ‘Magic Mila’ I doubt my opposing corner here would have been as inclined to be seeing it.
Mike (Channing Tatum) is a thirty something construction worker by day, stripper by night and, during the rest of the time he doesn’t sleep, hardcore partier and ‘unique furniture’ designer. First meeting Adam (Alex Pettyfer) through his role in construction, a chance encounter later the same day leads him to bring him onboard into the world of the male stripper – needing the money, Adam wastes no time in saying ‘yes’.
What happens between the introduction and the end of the movie can be covered in a brief sentence – very, very little. Luckily, most of the runtime is spent on the dancing, so there is probably only thirty minutes of ‘film’ (at least it felt that way). Strip club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) aims to expand his Tampa Bay based mini-empire into Los Angeles, and it seems that only he and Mike look at this as being the means to an end, understanding the relatively short career span. There’s an attempt at bringing in a romance subplot between Mike and Adam’s sister Brooke (Cody Horn), although the painfully wooden performance of the latter suggested that might have been embarrassed by the script itself. Horn could easily be used as a budget Kirsten Stewart for future roles, such is her level of scenery chewing misery; quite what Mike is supposed to see in her is unclear, although with little effort made anywhere else in the script this plot line was likely also an afterthought. Olivia Munn (surprisingly good in my current favourite show The Newsroom) also gets some limited screen time as a part-time fuck-buddy for Mike, being wasted in the rather thankless role – it would have made more sense to have swapped her for Horn’s character, meaning that not only would there be some sense of chemistry between the two, but they would also then have had someone who may have been able to smile without looking like they were under extreme duress.
The closest film I can compare this to is Showgirls (1995) – the difference being that the attempt at a plot loosely woven around the stripping within this particular movie seems to have been taken entirely seriously. The best description I can offer is a series of stage dances wrapped over some typically Soderbergh looking footage in an effort to shape it into ‘a film’. I’m sure it will do massively well (the screening we attended was fairly busy despite the relatively early start time), being fairly confident that I’m not part of the intended target demographics who will appreciate the uber-abs a bit more, although they would probably do well to skip the rather poor attempt at drama entirely for the inevitable sequels to ensure the girls-night-out crowd don’t become too bored during the scenes that lack stripping. Had they done so here and replaced it with an extra few dances with Joe Manganiello strutting his stuff, the score given by the Red Corner (whatever it may be – I’m concerned it will be high) would automatically be granted an extra three or four points. Especially if it was in 3D.