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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).

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Official Synopsis: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.

Director: Steven Soderbergh, Produced By: Gregory Jacobs, Nick Wechsler, Written By: Reid Carolin

Primary Cast: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn

The Red Corner - Lisa

Red Corner Review, by Lisa

Added August 28th, 2012

I think this film was always doomed to be looked down upon by critics. When you think of films featuring stripping/strippers you have Striptease (1996) and The full Monty (1997). This film deserves credit as it decided not to copy either of those films.

Now we know it’s not going to win any Oscars. The film focuses around Mike, played by Channing Tatum, who is part of a dance act/ male strip troupe. Adam (Alex Pettyfer) is down on his luck and living on his sister’s couch. Hired for the day by Mike’s dad’s construction firm, the pair meet and later bump into one another by chance. Mike takes him to night club to recruit ladies for his show. He brings Adam, who is only 19, along and tries to sort him out with some money for helping out at the club.

You see Mike is becoming dissatisfied with the lifestyle and has been squirreling away money for years to fund his bespoke furniture collection. He wants to be more than just a stripper, and more than that, he wants to be taken seriously. Banks aren’t lending and he hasn’t got a great credit score and so he can’t get the money to fund his start up business and so he continued doing several different things at once and saving to make his business ideas come to fruition. He makes ugly furniture so this is perhaps just as well.

When Tarzan (one of the strip crew) passes out, young Adam must step on stage and perform to a remixed ‘like a virgin’ and as he seems to have a knack for it. Given his terrible performance, show manager Dallas, played by Matthew Mc Conaughey (as only he can), lets him stay and join the act. Dallas has plans to diversify and take the show to Miami.  Matthew mc Conaughey almost parodies himself in this film but he makes a great and believable character. I very much enjoyed his scenes and spent some time admiring the lowness of his tight leather trousers.

As  young Adam gets more used to the girls and the money and the lifestyle he gets drawn in my DJ tito’s plan to make extra cash by selling drugs on the side. We know this is a dark dark rode for Adam to venture down and he is partaking of the drug also himself. When he loses the drug stash Mike bails him out. Meanwhile Mike is having problems of his own. He seems to be happy with friends-with-benefits with psychology student Joanna. Little does he realise until later in the film, that she is just using him for a hot booty call and actually has a fiancé. Meanwhile he has been growing closer to Adams sister, medical rep Brooke.

Brooke disapproves of his lifestyle and the lifestyle which he has initiated her brother into. However as they talk and get to know one another, the on screen banter between the two surprisingly works. Brooke is just an ordinary girl next door type, certainly not the kind who pulls strippers. She likes to play it safe with dull and boring on-off boyfriend Paul and is wary of Mike and his intentions, but she is curious as to what drives him. She asks questions and I think he starts to like her as she actually takes an interest in him and doesn’t just want him for his hot body.

This seems an excellent place to raise the subject of the interpretative dance routines features in the film. While those of us who have seen Step up (2006) will be aware of Channing Tatum’s dancing ability, The choreography here was believable and the visual performances certainly a feast for the senses (and a slightly different take on modern themes using interpretative dance), with an element of crowd participation of course. Ok fine………. the stripping bits were great! There were giggles in all the right places and the performers themselves were in the peak of physical condition and utilised a number of costume changes to keep the ladies in the club and those watching open mouthed at the cinema, entertained.

That’s the thing about this film, it doesn’t take its self too seriously and it tries to incorporate a bit of story into it, something that some people are all too familiar with; sticking with your current job and waiting it out until the perfect one comes along, in this respect mike is no different. I liked the scenes where he is trying to talk to Brooke and tell her how he feels, but he is so mixed up and unsure the words just keep getting stuck. I also liked that they tried to do something different without going down the seedy crime gangster route ( like  Striptease ) or the comedy route.

So overall yes I liked it and I was entertained.

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