Sunday, December 4, 2016

Movie #381: Magic Mike

Magic Mike is a dramedy directed by Steven Sodebergh, and starring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn, Adam Rodriguez, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, and Gabriel Iglesias.

Mike (Tatum) is a very busy stripper living in Tampa. In addition to stripping, he own four or five side businesses, but what he really wants to do is make custom furniture. One day on a construction job, he meets Adam (Pettyfer), and winds up getting him a job stripping with the "Kings of Tampa," the stripping troupe managed by the somewhat narcissistic Dallas (McConaughey).

Adam (nicknamed "the Kid") gets immediately sucked into the life and winds up selling drugs for Tobias (Iglesias), the group's DJ. When he loses a bunch of drugs, Mike, who's falling for Adam's sister Brooke (Horn), steps up and bails him out, at the cost of most of his savings. The movie ends with Mike stepping away from the troupe and trying to figure out a more reasonable plan of action. Also snogging Brooke.

So, I saw this movie in theaters, and apart from the woman sitting near me who brought a four-year-old who was clearly not thrilled, what I remember was that I was expecting it to be light and funny about with beefcake. One for three ain't bad. Most of the stripper dudes perform some pretty impressive feats of male entertainment, but holy shit Channing Tatum. Whatever you think of his acting, the boy can dance.

But quite apart from that, the storyline is more Boogie Nights if it focused on Reed Rothchild instead of Dirk Diggler (and, like, involved way less people getting shot). It's not so much "light and funny" as "young person getting seduced by the glamour of a new life with drugs and so forth," and seeing that through the eyes of someone who's already done it and is trying to make his own way. The plot is thin - not bad, just thin - but the performances from Tatum, Horn, and Pettyfer (nicely underpinned by McConaughey) are what make it. Tatum absolutely sells the fast-talking and ultimately earnest Magic Mike, and Pettyfer and Horn have a perfect sibling relationship; Horn is more responsible, but you can see her rough edges and they get rougher around Mike.

It's a Sodebergh movie, which is what I always forget about it, but that means the ensemble cast works and you get at least a sense of some of the other performers. It's worth a watch, especially if you'd find any of these folks attractive.

My grade: B+
Rewatch Value: Low

Next up: Magic Mike XXL