There are two groups of people who went to go see Magic Mike in theaters, the throngs of women wanting to see shirtless celebrities dance around, and the small minority of people like me who went because the movie looked interesting or had a good director. After seeing the film, I think I can safely say that I enjoyed it more then many of the teenage girls at my showing, because when you strip away the gimmick of this film (no pun intended), it is a movie about the dangers of fame, egotism, and most of all, one man’s struggle to start a custom furniture business.
After meeting Adam (Alex Pettyfer) at a construction job, Mike (Channing Tatum) takes him under his wing and shows him the perks that come along with a job as a performer in a male revue. Although the marketing campaign focused heavily on this aspect of the film, it is actually a movie with a lot of substance, and could easily be compared to a film like Boogie Nights, both thematically and even on a plot level in some regards. Additionally, I was surprised at how well written and funny this film, not just from Channing Tatum who has proved himself as a gifted comedic actor in 21 Jump Street, but also Pettyfer in his initially awkward attempts to pick up women or explain his new career path to his sister.
Unfortunately, for me the biggest issue with this film was not its content, or even the slightly unsatisfying ending that I actually enjoyed, but the casting of Cody Horn as Adam’s sister as well as the central love interest in the film. Horn, who is relatively new to the world of acting, apparently decided the key to success is to take a page out of the Kristen Stewart School of Acting and remain completely flat and monotonous for the entire film. Even Tatum, who was such an onscreen presence, failed to salvage many of the one-on-one scenes in this film.
Now, before you run out and see this movie just because I thought it was good, I think it is important to take this review with a grain of salt. I fully acknowledge that this film is not for everyone, many people will not be able to get past the fact that this movie does feature male strippers, but I would wager that a fair about of people wont enjoy the actual plot of the movie, as one later in the film you see a previously likably character spiral downwards towards a world of selfishness and depravity, again, much like Boggie Nights. I thought the ending of this film was satisfactory, but I will admit it does not completely resolve the film, although not to worry, talks of a sequel are already in the works. If none of this perturbs you from wanting to watch this movie, you really should see it its quite good.
Rating: 4 out of 5