Magic Mike

Film, Drama
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Magic Mike
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Channing Tatum, front, in Magic Mike

American filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has been threatening to retire. But no auteur’s career is complete, it now seems, until he has coaxed an Oscar-worthy dry hump out of Channing Tatum. Nor until he’s directed men in trenchcoats doing things to umbrellas that would make Gene Kelly weep. So Soderbergh has made ‘Magic Mike’ – a fun, throwaway film about male strippers. The premise alone will be enough to put off some of his fans. Which is a shame, because Soderbergh being Soderbergh, he brings his grungy A-game to the butt ’n’ thrust of male stripping.

Tatum stars and is credited as a producer. The idea for the film came from eight months he spent aged 18 working as a stripper. He is Mike, the main attraction in a small-time Florida strip joint. Each of the club’s artistes has his shtick: Latino stud; hairy biker; David Gandy lookalike; Big Dick Richie… well, you can guess his specialism. Tatum’s Mike is the all-American boy-next-door, starting his routines in a hoodie. By day he works on a building site where he discovers Adam (British actor Alex Pettyfer), who he trains as the club’s hot new act and whose sister (Cody Horn) he falls for. Mike fancies himself as an entrepreneur. Stripping is a means to an end and he really wants to set up a furniture design business.

Until recently Tatum was best known for looking no-neck-hard in action movies and for the odd lunky romantic lead. ‘Magic Mike’ should change that. As well as those dry humps, Soderbergh coaxes a sweet, sympathetic performance out of him as a man hitting 30 (virtually washed-up in this game) with the creeping realisation that his life might not be the thrill ride he once believed.

But it’s Matthew McConaughey who steals ‘Magic Mike’ as the club’s spray-tanned owner, Dallas, who’s convinced he’s the messiah of male stripping. McConaughey throws himself do-or-die into the role. ‘We are the cock rocking kings of Florida,’ he proclaims, hand on leather-clad crotch, with the demonic swagger of a Southern Baptist preacher on the turn.

The dance sequences are hilarious and shamelessly aimed at the girls’- night-out crowd. Admittedly, the script is a little routine and lazy in the Hollywood boy-meets-girl mould. But Soderbergh grasps the campness of this world: backstage you’ll find one guy shaving his legs, another behind a sewing machine reinforcing the gusset of his spangly gold G-string, while another pumps away at his manhood (that’s Joe Manganiello from ‘True Blood’ as Big Dick Richie – and, no, you don’t get a good look). And when Adam falls down the rabbit hole with drugs-and-rum types, Soderbergh slips into realism mode (no doubt there will be some fast-forwarding of these bits when the DVD comes out). Now, all we need is for some bright spark to come along with a 3D version.

By: Cath Clarke


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Wednesday July 11 2012
Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriter: Reid Carolin
Cast: Alex Pettyfer
Cody McMains
Channing Tatum

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening

Ok, I know, I know....I'm late to the game but I have to say this......"This is THE STUPIDEST MOVIE I ever saw in my life!!!  How in the hell, who in the hell...gave it 3 stars????  No plot lessons catastrophe......who cares about WHAT Channing Tatum did before he became an actor???  This is 2+ hours of my life gone forever.....the only positive note is at least it wasn't about women!!!


Boring bad movie about boring bad fake strippers. Terrible actors. Matthew McConaughey is good only compared to the dumb, expressionless, botoxed, non-actors that appear on screen. Dialogue highlights include 'Hey man' and 'Do you wanna grab some food?'. Dance routines are very ordinary. Script (they had a script?) is nonsense and banality (stare to the beach on your right - stare to the car on you left - say 'Hey man' - take your pants off. Repeat) It is so boring and pointless and stupid it does not even manage to be truly awful or properly bad.

It is clear now that TIME OUT have absorbed a "Soderberg? WOW" policy which is a bit sad. It is also clear that anyone else directing such bad (Contagion) or JUST good (Haywire) films would be treated accordingly. This falls inbetween, oh it's OK, some of it is quite fine indeed......but no Stephen? Truth would prevail. Mannerd performances (did we not see the bank loan scene done FAR better in Boogie Nights?) and a rushed treatment of the subject made me think of Cocktail 20+ years ago. Would Roger Donaldson been so feted if he gave us this? Now, we have had 3 "4 stars's" from this Av. director on the trot from TO.......Reality PLEASE chaps. Liked it though....would have enjoyed it more but for the Soderberg love in that seems unstoppable with these reviewers. You do him NO favor' fact, quite the opposite. 6/10

Enjoyed this despite serious reservations after Haywire. Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer are really great in this. Unfortunately there's more chemistry between them than between Tatum and the dour-faced weird-tummied love-interest. She is so po-faced - honestly found it hard to see what Mike is supposed to see in her. She had nice hair? In emergency situation I would not want to be relying on her - she'd be too busy shouting at everyone to actually do anything useful! Also, Matthew McConaughey really creeps me out ever since I saw him as Killer Joe. I just can't seem to separate any other parts he plays from that horrible horrible character. Plua his greasy hair gives me 'the boke'. Apart from that this is quite enjoyable.

Yawn ... this is a semi-porn chick-flic - I felt outnumbered - on a ratio of about 20:1. Not being a chick, I'm not sure how Mike's "Magic". I nearly fell into a coma I was so bored. On the upside, in less than a fortnight Ted's released - which I think's a guys' movie - roll on 3 August.

It didn’t come as any surprise to me to read this film came about through Tatum’s own experiences as a labourer and male stripper. After you’ve seen a couple of Tatum’s movies you get the feeling when he buys new trainers they’re to aid his race to the mirror first thing each morning - such is his slavish devotion to his appearance. Sadly, he spends less time on his acting skills - which becomes all too obvious in his films - this one’s no exception. . On the Tuesday evening screening where I saw this, the seats were nearly all sold out, attended by a predominantly 99% female audience, who were coming in in large groups - clearly a "girls" night out. The woman next to me looked daggers at me as I ate a small packet of peanuts during the trailers - clearly she thought this might go on during the movie and spoil a nano-second of Tatum’s screen presence. . I found this movie predictable, and sloppily scripted. The ‘dancing’ was okay, but after 30 minutes I was bored rigid and yawning, so left the ‘girls’ to it. One star.

Excellent film. definitely recommend for a girls night. It's hilarious - great performances by all lead men and a bit more plot than I expected.

Excellent film. definitely recommend for a girls night. It's hilarious - great performances by all lead men and a bit more plot than I expected.

The single worst film i have ever seen in my life and this is coming from a 19 year old girl! This film is awful, i dont need to say anymore, it wasnt worth the money (and thats with student discount). I heard the film was 110 mins and wanted to cry, half of these mins are taken up by time filling shots of outside of a car!! I was wishing i could fall asleep through most of it, if it wasnt for my friends then i would have walked out. AWFUL!

This really is an awful film, How it got a 15 rating god only knows! There is a huge amount of swearing, lots of nudity, a bit of drugs, lots of drinking and very little plot. It should have got an 18 rating so at least you would be saved from the giggly teen age girls in the cinema. Add in the most unbelievable and little developed love story between the "hero" and the kids sister. In this film you can be flat chested, plain looking and miserable and moody yet still get the man. As I said unbelievable. There is no plot merely a collage of dance and stripping scenes and then a sudden stop with a single kiss. Gents be prepared to be bored and ladies as ruby said if you want to see buff men semi naked on screen then fine but you deserve more.

(26 year old female)it was a girls night out and all of us thought the same.This film was the worst film ive ever seen!! The guys were nice to look at but thats all it had going for it,the story line was pants.Lazy to say the least to think you can make a good film from guys stipping off!

This is indeed a fun film. Tatum and McConaughey are good and there are some amusing scenes. Mr Tatum is an impressive dancer, assuming no body double was used. Not surprisingly the cinema was full of ladies. Note to self to cut out the biscuits and go to the gym.

Who are these deluded people over-hyping this film? To say the plot and dialogue are routine is vastly to exaggerate their appeal. The most boring film I think I have ever seen. I begrudge giving it even one star. For real modern comedy you should watch The Dictator - that is really funny!

Matthew Mccoughnnay should win an Oscar for this performance...and I'm not joking...brilliant film!!!!

Matthew Mccoughnnay should win an Oscar for this performance...and I'm not joking...brilliant film!!!!

This film was fantastic! Even better than all the hype! I want a sequel!!!!

This film was fantastic! Even better than all the hype! I want a sequel!!!!

Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello all getting their clothes off - what's not to like?!