Film Review — Magic Mike

Sorry for my absence, y’all! WordPress went hokey on Friday and wouldn’t let me post pictures, so I had to abandon the post I’d planned for that day.

Anyhow, I did something rather silly yesterday. I went to see Magic Mike in the theater, by myself, out of sheer curiosity.

(movie still from justjared.com)

Let me say up front, I am not a fan of male strippers. Something about a guy wriggling around in a g-string while screaming women stuff dollar bills in the elastic makes me acutely embarrassed for everyone involved. However, I did enjoy the movie and can give it a cautious thumbs-up. Will it win any awards? No. Will it make you feel better about the world? Eh, no, but I consider that an advantage. I expected a traditional feel-good movie ending, and Magic Mike doesn’t really deliver on that front. What it does is portray the world these people live in as much more nuanced (and hard to escape) than you would expect. From what I’ve heard, Channing Tatum wrote the script based on his experiences in a male show so a lot of the characters and story lines ring true.

The good:

1) Channing Tatum. The boy can dance, and I’m starting to have some serious appreciation for his acting skills as well. He has excellent comic timing and no self-consciousness — watch him launch himself into a fistfight while nearly naked, and you’ll be cringing at the potential damage.

2) Matthew McConaughey. He was pretty much born to play this role, and he revels in it.

3) The movie avoids a number of traditional boy-girl cliches. Mike’s friend-with-benefits Joanna is a well-rounded character, the Kid’s sister (played by Cody Horn, daughter of former Warner president Alan Horn) isn’t a fan of stripping and never does accept it, there is no blame or condescension for anyone’s sexuality. There ARE some creeptastic moments from a sexual perspective, but nearly all of them are due to recreational drug use which Magic Mike roundly condemns. By the way, some reviews accuse Horn of ruining the movie but I think her understated performance works for the character, who actually does spend much of the movie being confused, exasperated or disgusted.

4) Gabriel Iglesias, Joe Manganiello, and Adam Rodriguez turn in excellent side performances.

The bad:

1) Alex Pettyfer. He’s been accused in the press of being a diva on set, but I can’t tell how much of my distaste for him is actually due to the character he plays.

2) Matt Bomer. I continue to be mystified at people who call Matt Bomer an actor. He can show up and look pretty, but I have yet to see him act in anything and in this movie, he concentrates so hard during the dance scenes that he looks like he’s trying to perform brain surgery.

3) Kevin Nash, who plays Tarzan. To be fair to Mr. Nash, his appearance and behavior are much more typical of my experiences with male stripping than the pretty guys in Magic Mike. However, I’m not sure he can dance and after the first few minutes, his character barely speaks or interacts with the other guys. Also, I mistook him for Mickey Rourke until I saw the final credits at the end.

So…if you’ve got a couple free hours, you could do worse than watching Magic Mike.

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Posted on July 8, 2012, in my weird sense of humor, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. You forgot one more Good – it’s based here in Tampa. πŸ™‚ I haven’t seen it yet. Waiting for my sister to get here.

  2. Umm, the moment you said Matt Bomer falls in “the bad” part of this movie & you “continue to be mystified at people who call Matt Bomer an actor”, you lost your credibility in my eyes. I know it doesn’t matter to you what I think, but wow, how could you even say that about Bomer? You could say these things about Tatum, Joe, or Alex (none of them can act really), but Bomer? Did you actually see any of his works before (White Collar, Tru Calling, Traveler, Glee, In Time, Chuck etc)? I have huge doubt you did. He is, without any doubt, the best actor among the MM bunch.

    • I’ve seen Bomer in White Collar and Chuck, and I think he’s passable in those but his job is still mainly to walk onscreen, look pretty and throw out quips. In this movie? I stand by my statement — he isn’t any good. To be fair, it’s mostly the dancing and stripping scenes where he loses me, so he might just have been out of his depth with that.

  3. That movie just made me sad. I had to go home and watch Channing in “21 Jump Street” just to get the yucky thoughts out of my head.

  4. I have to say, I am very disappointed to hear there is a plot involved in this film. πŸ˜€

  5. I actually think Matt Bomer is incredibly sexy and love him in White Collar (he’s kind of the only reason why I’d see that movie). It looks like it would just a be a silly chick flick kind of movie. My sister, cousins and I have talked about doing a girls movie day to see this. I’m not expecting it to be spectacular, just get a chance to objectify some men πŸ˜‰ just kidding!!

  6. Hmmm, might give this a miss then cos with hubs away again babysitters are precious!

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