|2012||110 Min||Drama . Comedy|
Mike, an experienced stripper, takes a younger performer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.
|Actors:||Adam Rodríguez , Reid Carolin , James Martin Kelly , Matt Bomer , Joe Manganiello , Alex Pettyfer , Cody Horn , Olivia Munn , Matthew McConaughey , Channing Tatum|
As we face yet another summer of brooding superheroes, it's Magic Mike to the rescue! He's got the civilian alter ego and the acrobatic skills to rival Spidey or Batman.
If it falls short of greatness, it's not by much - and it could end up growing with the years. At the very least, it is exceptional and one of the best and most original pictures to come along in 2012.
The movie is Mike's story, and Channing Tatum proves himself a true movie star. His Mike glides through the world with the ease of a god, and on stage he's electrifying.
The raunchiest, funniest and most enjoyably nonjudgmental American movie about selling sex since "Boogie Nights."
Director Steven Soderbergh is working very near the top of his game here, and if Magic Mike tells an old, old story about a young man, his talent, his rise, and his fall - see everything from "Saturday Night Fever" to "Boogie Nights" - he brings the confidence of a born filmmaker and a cast that's sharper than their characters and ready to play.
One of the pleasures of Magic Mike is its egalitarian spirit and dedication to the ensemble.
Magic Mike casts a seriously entertaining spell.
Even when Magic Mike is skimpier than a g-string it soars on daring, as if Soderbergh asked himself who could possibly make a good movie from such offbeat material, answered "I can," and did.
Soderbergh lets his hair down with a frank, funny dramedy that bulges with humour, heart and smarts as McConaughey gives it everything he's got, in a potentially gong-grabbing turn.
Rarely do you see an actor harness such physical energy on the screen, much less dance at this level of intensity while converting raw muscle mass into raging sex appeal. But Tatum is the real McCoy.
The final act has an inevitable wavering patch when the film is obliged to tut-tut about the shallowness of the stripping, drinking, bantering, carousing and whooping it has previously enjoyed, but this is terrific entertainment with a sideline in wry melancholia and testosterone-fuelled philosophy. Have 20 dollars.
It's better to think of Magic Mike as arty but energetic soft-core porn, with no pickle shots but plenty of juice. You should see it if only for McConaughey, an underrated leading man who finally gets a chance to use his strange timing.
It works - beautifully.
For starters, it's a pleasure to see Matthew McConaughey - a gifted actor who can't hide his boredom in trivial work - finally settle into the role for which he was born.
Magic Mike is a fascinating film, one of his (Soderbergh's) best in recent years.
Didn't Soderbergh notice there was pathos enough in Matthew McConaughey's beefcake proprietor, an ab-slapping, spandexed Peter Pan? Between this role and his owlish DA in the subversively sly "Bernie," the actor has finally found a way to subvert his six-pack. He's the magic here.
By way of remarkable sleight-of-hand, Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike both is and is not the freewheeling, fun-loving, male stripper extravaganza its trailers peddle.
Ladies are gonna love Magic Mike, a lively male-stripper meller inspired by Channing Tatum's late-teen, pre-screen stint as an exotic dancer.
Magic Mike doesn't sizzle often enough as either cinema or beefcake, though. It's medium-strength Soderbergh, which is better than the full-strength stuff most filmmakers can manage but not exactly the brand that keeps you coming back for more.
Almost as impressive as Tatum's moves are his comic flair and breezy grace. He proved his comic talents earlier this year in "21 Jump Street" and shows them off winningly here.
It's a nicely balanced blend of comedy, drama and athletic dancing that plies its trade with winking, unforced self-assurance.
It's guilty of some sleight-of-hand hokum, but in pulling the rug from under the norm, Magic Mike turns a trick.
Magic Mike takes itself seriously - not so seriously that there isn't room for a little humor, but this is not an excursion into cheesiness and gratuitous nudity.
Like "The Girlfriend Experience," Magic Mike doubles as an of-the-moment film about life in a down economy, so much so that it would play like a bait-and-switch if it didn't just as thoroughly deliver as a movie about stripping.
If you can look past all the flesh and the thongs and the thrusting - and I admit that is an almost impossible task and probably not one you'd want to undertake anyway - what's most distinctive about Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike is its sense of fun.
Selling anyone the right to touch your genital area for a couple of bucks is not a good way to build self-esteem. Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike makes this argument with a crafty mixture of comedy, romance, melodrama and some remarkably well-staged strip routines involving hunky, good-looking guys.
The dance numbers, choreographed by Allison Faulk, are inventive and athletic, but not really erotic; Soderbergh never lets you forget that, for these men, dancing is above all a job.
The process is called acting, and the man (Tatum) in the title role of Steven Soderbergh's flashy, not-so-trashy entertainment does it so well that the debate should be officially ended.
Skeptical at first, perhaps a little embarrassed, but before you know it, you're having a blast.
Soderberg enhances the meager storyline with some creative camerawork (again shot by himself under the pseudonym Peter Andrews). The club scenes are always entertaining and some of the backstage imagery is unforgettable.
Two things do redeem the film somewhat. One is the near-uniform excellence of the cast, led by Tatum, who has a compelling, eminently watchable aw-shucks charisma, and newcomer Horn as the cute, concerned sister. The other is the easy, naturalistic flow and ebb of Reid Carolin's dialogue, which gives none of his characters a vocabulary or insights above his or her station.
An odd and entertaining mix of backstage melodrama, indie verite, and "Showgirls" kitsch, the usual gender stereotypes are upturned.
It's as if Soderbergh expects the film to mostly resolve itself, rounded out by the asses-in-the-seats appeal of the material, rote thematic underpinning, and ample charms of the cast.
Oddly, Magic Mike somehow looks like a much darker and more challenging movie than is actually the case.
The divide between Tatum as performer and Tatum as actor gives the film an interesting unsteadiness.
Magic Mike slowly degenerates into a simplistic cautionary fable. I didn't see that coming from a sharp observer like Soderbergh.
The highly calculated Magic Mike is pure Hollywood self-mythology - a neo-Depression musical, a wish-fulfillment fantasy for shitty times, an origin-of-the-star story, and a projection of that star's hoped-for future.
Life, however, cannot be lived entirely on stage, and once the characters have to take off their thongs and return to their real lives, the film goes nowhere that is either interesting, involving or surprising.
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