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Reviews for Magic Mike ( 2012 )

Trailer is misleading, great movie though (IMDB: 8)

On: 12/4/2014 12:00:00 AM By: rooprect
The upbeat trailer with quippy banter, cute gags and promises of washboard abs & tight tushies is very misleading. And the IMDb plot summary makes me want to hurl: "A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money." "Magic Mike" is a great movie but for different reasons and for a different audience than the trailer may attract. It's not a fun & wild romp nor is it a quirky romcom with a lot of chuckles. It's a complex drama that focuses on success vs. the illusion of success. It could've been set on Wall Street. It could've been set in a law firm. It could've been set in any one of the paragons of success that we envision when we hear that word. Instead it's set in a male nudie bar with tons of hormone-raging women waving, hurling and stuffing $1 bills into mens' thong underwear.

Soderbergh crafts a powerful but almost self-defeating film that I doubt will be a huge popularity winner due to its unconventional story. (Sidenote: why is it that filmmakers can make critically-acclaimed masterpieces about female strippers/prostitutes, like "Leaving Las Vegas", but if the g-string is on the other gender it's just goofy fun?) Due to its deceptive marketing, "Magic Mike" is passed off as crowd-pleasing entertainment, but it's really a very sobering look at life with more introspective moments than laughs.

Channing Tatum plays Mike, a guy with the bod of a Greek god, probably not very educated but with a very smart, creative ambition: to build artistic furniture. Somehow, instead, he ends up thrusting his pelvis on stage for screaming ladies. Enter Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a 19-year-old kid who, like many 19-year-olds, doesn't have a clue. Mike takes Adam under his wing and introduces him to the night life, all the while promising Adam's sister Brooke (Cody Horn) that he'll take care of Adam.

If you can see where this is going, then great. That's the point. "Magic Mike" does something that few films have the guts to do. It sets up a predictable situation and then takes us through exactly that. No wacky, contrived plot twists necessary. Instead it focuses on how different people react and change when confronted with a predictable set of events.

Another thing this film does, better than any other I've seen in recent memory, is that it gives us REAL dialogue. I'm talking about the scenes between Mike & Brooke. It's every bit as real as something you'd experience in real life, right down to the stammering, the awkward fidgeting, the "flubbed lines". I put that in quotations because I'm not sure if the script was written that way, or if Tatum actually flubbed a few lines and Soderbergh left them in. My point is that the dialogue & chemistry between those two is so believable you'd think they didn't have a camera on them.

"Magic Mike" is not for everyone. It can't be accurately summed up with some exuberant catchphrase like "Laugh out loud funny!" or "A tragic masterpiece!" or "Nail biting suspense!" Also I would say that this is a very uncomfortable date movie, a very uncomfortable bro movie, and it's probably too heavy for a fun, gal's night out movie. If you do see it, it's probably best watched alone so you can really soak in the personal story it's telling. On an individual level I think we can all relate to the idea of being sidetracked by the pursuit of a dream, rather than the dream itself, regardless of if we're guys wearing buttless cowboy pants in front of 200 squealing, undersexed women.

Too much of one's ego and no director on sight to take hold on it:( (IMDB: 4)

On: 7/16/2012 12:00:00 AM By: afertak
Well, well, well... I went on to see it thinking "You can't just get enough of pretty naked men". As it appeared I was wrong. First of all: although Channing Tatum here actually played his part instead of just being on the screen, I've had too much of his ego after first 40 minutes. Second: none of the cast, except for Matt McConaughey and Matt Bomer, was visible enough to create a full-blooded character. I will not mention their bad preparation, because I can't believe that you cannot teach Joe Manganiello how to dance. And third: it is really sad not to see the director's work. It seems like no one red the script to notice how bad it was, when it comes to structure and building characters. I got an impression that for some, money and wild party were the only reason to take part in this project. As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see more of "Let's make a good film" attitude rather than purely "Let's make loads of money from girls shy enough not to go into strip club"... It made me sad - I was counting on something that would be a start of amazing acting careers for Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez and Alex Pettyfer. Well, in my opinion this film won't help. Period.

Magic Mike: Needed More Magic and Less Mike (IMDB: 3)

On: 7/15/2012 12:00:00 AM By: Taylor Wiznitzer (JadeIslandReviews)
Magic Mike is one of those many films that I could guess the plot exactly before I saw it. I don't know if its because its super predictable or if I've seen too many movies. Anyways, here is how I predicted how the film would go down before I saw it: Popular guy with pretty good life turns into a Disney princess because he wants "something more" in his life than what he's use to. He meets girl, falls in love with girl but is torn between his life and girl. He (shockingly) picks girl with limited personality instead of pretty good life and they all live happily ever after. That was my prediction BEFORE I saw the movie.

I won't spoiler the actual film but here's what its about: Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) is a construction worker by day and male stripper by night. He meets pretty boy Adam (Alex Pettyfer) who lives with his sister, Brooke (Cody Horn) at work and gets Adam a stripping job at the strip joint owned by Dallas ("I see a lot of law breakers"...must a say HIS name?). Romantic fireworks explode between characters and Adam gets into trouble along the way.

Here's how I'm going to analyze:

Story: All I can about the story is that it is your typical romantic 21st century Hollywood film. You can predict the whole movie and ending very easily.

Characters: These characters were walking cardboards. Mike, Adam, Brooke, Joanna, Norah, even Tarzan, etc HAD NO PERSONALITY! The character that was somewhat interesting was Dallas and he stripped the least (sorry ladies). I could've cared less what happened to these characters because there was no depth to them and I didn't feel attached to them at all. We've seen these clichéd characters a million times.

Acting: I hated to judge this part because there isn't much to judge. The acting is...mediocre at best. Channing Tatum plays the role he plays in every film of his: the good guy with little personality. I feel Tatum CAN really act but he needs to expand his range like Johnny Depp does or Heath Ledger use to. Adam Pettyfer has tried to expand his range (like in "Beastly")but the kid, as good looking as he is, just can't act. Cody Horn was the weakest link. She'll probably be the next Julia Stiles, meaning she'll be cast in the same role in every film (good films probably) next to good looking guys even though she can't act.

These are the only things to critique on. The directing, music, editing, etc are not focused on at all. The only song in the film I could remember was "Its Raining Men". The directing had some shaky camera. I remember that. The visuals were...okay. If you like naked men.

Overall, the film was..."eh". I was bored through most of it and I left the theater with no intentions to ever see it again. I gave the film three stars out of ten. The film needed more "magic" in storytelling and originality then "Mike" just being your typical Hollywood dream guy that doesn't really exist.

It's not about the stripping... (IMDB: 8)

On: 7/2/2012 12:00:00 AM By: Jim Gilligan
This might come as a shock to some, but this is not really a movie about male strippers. Yes, two of the principal characters are male strippers, but?as Channing Tatum's character (Magic Mike himself) says at a crucial point in the film, "That's what I do?it's not who I am." Amid the bountiful buttcheeks and brawny pecs on display, there is a real story here about ambition, and goals, and loyalty, and commitment, and self-actualization. Yes, I used the term "self-actualization" in a review of "Magic Mike"; I told you you might be shocked.

At any rate, plenty of folks (like the pathetic woman who was sitting behind me in the theater, the one who clapped like a poorly trained seal, guffawed, and cackled any time the least bit of male skin appeared on screen) will go see this movie because of all the hype about the hot male bodies in various states of undress?and they will certainly enjoy the film on that very basic level. But let's be honest here, folks?this is a Stephen Soderbergh film?and Soderbergh does not use sex and titillation gratuitously. The plot is compelling, the film is well written and masterfully directed, and Channing Tatum proves that he is much, much more than a hot body and a pretty face. For his sake, here's hoping that "Magic Mike" can propel him along a career path similar to those of other handsome actors who managed to overcome "Movie Star" looks to prove that they were genuine actors. Like Brad Pitt.

The law says you cannot touch, but I think I see a lotta lawbreakers up in this house tonight... (IMDB: 9)

On: 6/27/2012 12:00:00 AM By: moviewizguy
Many people like to generalize things to make it easier to understand the world. When the trailer for MAGIC MIKE was revealed, it was labeled as just a "male stripper movie," like how BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN was just a "gay cowboy movie." This generic label, undermining and downgrading the film's actual quality, even overshadows the fact that Steven Soderbergh is the director, who rarely make films that lack substance. Yes, MAGIC MIKE has style, but it has substance as well. Here's the kicker: Those who want to see the film primarily for the stripping may be left disappointed, as they will likely fidget in their seats for these scenes to come. As one lady sitting next to me said once the credits rolled, "Worst movie ever." On the other hand, those who refuse to see the film because of its subject matter may be missing a great film.

To state it simply, MAGIC MIKE is a BOOGIE NIGHTS-lite, which isn't a bad thing considering how utterly dark and depressing BOOGIE NIGHTS gets in its second half. The first half of MAGIC MIKE is light and breezy and quite funny. In fact, most of the jokes in here are funnier than most modern comedies try to achieve. We are introduced to this world that is fascinating because of how surprisingly mundane and economics-centered it is. The stripping sequences, filled with energy and sexiness, are mostly played for laughs. We get exposed to a lot of male asses, ripped abs, and pelvic thrusts, but it's all in good fun. Then, things slowly start to take a dark turn in the second half. It isn't hard to imagine people thinking, "Wait. Isn't this a stripping movie?" Characters start to make bad decisions and one thing leads to another and so on. You get the idea.

The cast is terrific all around. Channing Tatum is very good as the lead role, playing comedy and drama effectively. However, I want to give a huge shout out to Alex Pettyfr and Cody Horn, both pulling off terrific performances in their substantial roles. Pettyfr, in particular, I never really liked in the films he starred in before, but he is just phenomenal in this film. Horn, on the other hand, seemed to come out from nowhere, but her rapport with Tatum is terrific. Let's also not forget about Matthew McConaughey. Even though he isn't in the film that much, he steals every single scene he's in. He's just that good.

MAGIC MIKE will either surprise or disappoint you, depending on what your expectations are. Still, it's a film BOTH genders can enjoy, and it shouldn't be limited to "a movie for the ladies." MAGIC MIKE is funny and dramatic when it needs to be, but the main reason it succeeds is because of the cast. Overall, MAGIC MIKE is a very good film. Just don't expect a lot of stripping.