Review: Magic Mike


Director:Steven Soderbergh

Cast:Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello

Running Time:110.00


Despite what you might think, Magic Mike actually has
a plot and isn't all stripping all the time. The film follows Mike (Channing
Tatum) as he befriends Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and introduces him to the world of
stripping. The film highlights their escapades for three months as the duo ventures
through various emotional highs and lows.

Magic Mike often skirts the edge of being rated R and
NC-17, and while the story is fairly formulaic, I was pretty disappointed with how
it all ended. Several main plot points simply occurred without much explanation"”such
as Adam being a terrible dancer who then suddenly becomes as good as Mike after
one lesson with the overbearingly overconfident Dallas (Matthew McConaughey).

The casting is pretty impressive. Channing Tatum proves he can still dance, and
he actually shows more acting range here than I think I've ever seen from him.
Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello don't make as much of an appearance as I had suspected
based on the film's promotions, and I wish their characters had been better
developed in the time they did appear on screen. The biggest disappointment came
in the form of Olivia Munn, who seems to have the emotional range of Kristen
Stewart. She tries to play everything cool, but it's too cool, so it comes
across as boring and flat.

Steven Soderbergh always brings unusual visual elements to his films. Magic
Mike has some interesting camera angles that stray vastly from the norm and
create just enough interest to make me focus more on the scene because of the
odd angle. It's initially disconcerting, but it's part of the Soderbergh
shtick. The cinematography has a retro '70s vibe, from the colors to the sets.
The music consists of a lot of cheesy pop songs, at least for the dance scenes,
so that was a little disappointing, but something I probably should have

Soderbergh's use of cut scenes to depict time passing was
abrupt, but it often worked in favor of the film by cutting off sequences that
might be a bit too risqué for the film's R-rated audience.  It's just difficult to shift from one
extreme to another so quickly. Magic Mike
definitely caters to a very specific audience, but it fails at dancing the fine
line between pure entertainment and a film with a purpose.


About Candace Breiten

Candace Breiten

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