Heather's Movie Review: Magic Mike
Is it possible to be happy when you can't get reach your true potential? Do you give up or come up with a new plan? That's part of the premise behind Director Steven Soderbergh's new movie Magic Mike, which had some entertaining results despite an uneven story.
Magic Mike followed a young aspiring businessman named Mike (Channing Tatum) with a lot of dreams, but no real way to make them come true just yet. In the meantime, Mike is earning his money through some odd jobs and is spending his nights headlining an all-male dance revue at Club Xquisite. Mike decided to put his years of experience at the club to good use by taking in a troubled young man named Adam (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing, which included a job as the newest club performer. Through Alex, Mike meets his headstrong sister Brooke (Cody Horn) and developed a strong bond with her that made him see that there was more to life than being a male stripper. Will Mike break away from the powerful pull of Club Xquisite and its manipulative owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) to fully pursue his dreams?
In terms of answering that question, moviegoers will find it easy to root for Tatum's likable but sometimes clueless Mike from the very beginning because of Tatum's relaxed performance. He made Mike a combination of the perfect best friend and the man every woman would love to date. Of course, it also helped that Tatum's real life past experience as a stripper also made his stage performances all the more convincing. Tatum's most memorable scene came towards the end when all of his bravado was stripped away and he was left with the realization that his life needed to change. He managed to do all of this without saying a word during the scene. Tatum used his eyes to express everything that he couldn't say, which was quite an accomplishment.
Unfortunately, the movie made a huge mistake in not keeping the movie's entire focus on Tatum's strong performance. Instead, the story kept turning to Pettyfer's unlikable Adam. It also didn't help Pettyfer that his character wasn't properly developed and given nothing to do but cause trouble for Mike. Pettyfer had a strong rapport with Tatum and the rest of the cast, but he wasn't never given a chance to be nothing more than a whiny wannabe onscreen. The story should've made Adam a minor supporting player and not a front burning character, because it wasn't his story to tell.
Sadly, the movie's uneven focus also gave the rest of the Club's performers (Joe Manganiello, Matthew Bomer and Adam Rodriguez) little to do other than being background players. The movie rushed through Bomer and Manganiello's dance routines too quickly, while they allowed others to go on for too long. Luckily, McConaughey's sublime performance as the sleazy Dallas helped added some much need levity whenever he came on the screen. Magic Mike also allowed McConaughey to have the opportunity to have one dance routine and it was worth the wait. He gave it his all and all of the female moviegoers appreciated his efforts. The movie would've been perfect if it paid the same attention to detail with the rest of the non-club related stories. Oh well, Magic Mike was the perfect way to beat the summer heat.
Verdict: Despite a few storyline stumbles, Tatum and McConaughey are entertaining to watch performing on-stage and off.
Movie Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: R
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)