DIRECTOR: Steven Soderberg
May Contain Spoilers!
Not really what I was expecting. With quotes such as “Hilarious” on the poster and featuring a Matthew McConaughey in a role in which it is perfectly acceptable for him to have his shirt off, this was a much grittier affair that I was expecting. Yes, it had some genuinely funny moments and turns the ideas of male stripping on it head at times.
Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) is the lead stripper in Dallas’ (McConaughey) troop, who just happen to be top flight dancers to boot, giving Tatum a chance to relieve and expand on his success from his Step Up (2006) days as he introduces Alex Pettyfer to the sultry world of male stripping and all its perks. As a dance movie it’s actually really good, with some really decent performances and some well conceived ideas shrouded in a decent and layered narrative. But its weakness is in stark contrast to what makes it work.
Soderberg has opted for what appears to be improvised dialogue from his cast and if it isn’t, then it sure looks that way. But the tone and this realistic take on the dialogue serves to engross us into their world, which feels real and plausible, to such an extent that the nightclub scenes cast me back to by early 20’s, when even I used to go clubbing!
This is a triumph of immersive direction but the improved style can seem a bit amateurish and the story is slightly uneven, with a grimy tone mixed with a sense of light comedy. Magic Mike is defiantly a crowd pleaser for women but there’s still enough meat, pardon the pun, to entertain everyone. Not perfect but a decent enough mix of excellent and average to produce a perfectly watchable and enjoyable indie movie.