Magic Mike (Review)

Published on June 29th, 2012

Grade: C

Magic Mike, the latest effort from director Steven Soderbergh, hits theaters this weekend. While his last flick, Haywire, also starred Channing Tatum. His newest film is for all the ladies of the world. The trailers encouraging you to leave your man at home and make it a girls night out.

Magic Mike is Channing’s somewhat true story about his life before fame… as a male stripper. Tatum of course plays the title role of Magic Mike and rightly so. Joining him on screen is Matthew McConaughey in the role of Dallas, the strip clubs ring leader so to speak.  Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, Matt Boomer, and Kevin Nash make up the other men of the stage. All of them holding respective names like Ken, The Kid, Tarzan, and Big D*** Richie.

So naturally, as one might expect. You would think this movie would be nothing but a good time. Some of the hottest guys of Hollywood.. stripping… on screen. That was at least what I was expecting. A fun enjoyable popcorn flick quite frankly. What we got was about half and half.

From the start of the film it’s clear that the editing is just all over the place. The secondary characters are very poorly established and even some of the main characters get the short end of the stick. To make matters even worse, the hideous ending of the film, or should we say non ending. It just kind of ends, with no resolve. You really are left wondering what happens to these characters beyond the credits.  It’s a slap to the face of the audience for giving a crap about the characters at all. So the lesson is, don’t care about strippers?

Another thing I’ve noticed is Soderbergh only believes in white balancing a fraction of the time in his films. In what universe is there a yellow overcast on everything. Surely it’s done on purpose to seem artsy, but its just a poor decision as far as I’m concerned. It looks like crap. The only time the film was every properly white balanced was in the strip club. Making it look as if he was putting together two completely different films.

To add to the disjointed feeling of the movie, the scenes in the strip club were at a caliber that deserved to be in a fun popcorn flick. But, anytime we ventured beyond the strip club it was as if they were trying too hard to make a heartfelt film festival Oscar style flick. The two just didn’t mesh well together. Either make the big fun stripper movie.. or make the Oscar film with heart. Don’t half ass the two and advertise it as a good time. It did not work.

These actors Tatum, McConaughey, Pettyfer, and Cody Horn deserved a better film than this. Yeah the guys are hot, and they are stripping. But that’s no excuse for a director like Soderbergh to just phone this one in. Just because you have the hottest men in hollywood with their shirts off doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your job. If you head out to see this movie, be prepared to leave feeling incredibly unsatisfied.



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