“Magic Mike” – Review by Jake Peffer

Magic Mike Review
by Jake Peffer
Channing Tatum is proving this year that he’s a competent actor. He was the best part of the mediocre The Vow and him and Jonah Hill worked well together in the hilarious 21 Jump Street. Can Channing continue his good performance streak with Magic Mike?

Mike (Channing Tatum) is your typical 30 year old guy, he’s charming, out-going and knows how to have a good time. He works a lot of jobs so he can make enough money to fund his own business making custom furniture. While working at one of his jobs he meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer). Adam is trying to do what he can to make money after losing a football scholarship and dropping out of college. They meet up again later that night where Mike hooks Adam up with another job, but it’s not what Adam expected.

The main job Mike has is stripping at a local club. Adam doesn’t know what to think until he gets a chance to get on stage. Club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) thinks “The Kid” has a lot of potential and adds him tot he roster of strippers and wants Mike to help groom him into his protege. Adam’s sister Booke (Cody Horn) isn’t too fond of of her brother’s new job and this new life he has but Mike sparks up a relationship with her that makes her feel better about everything. Dallas plans on moving the show and everyone down to Miami where they can make even more money. Mike isn’t sure if he wants to go to Miami because he doesn’t want to be a stripper for the rest of his life. So he has to decide if he’s going to keep stripping or will he try to pursue his own business.

Most would probably look at this movie and think that it’s just a bunch scenes with all the guys stripping and dancing. While there is a good bit of that in the movie, it does have a real story behind it. One of the things I enjoyed most about it is that it felt like the real story of a stripper. There’s more to their lives than what they do on stage and I thought director Steven Soderbergh did a great job in showcasing that. The choreography during the dancing scenes is done very well, especially from Channing Tatum. All the actors look like their having a fun time and that makes it all the more better.

Everyone in the cast here is great, for the most part. The only flaw in the cast is Cody Horn. She is not a very good actress and she’s very awkward and looks like she’s uncomfortable in her scenes. Her chemistry with Channing Tatum, however, is pretty good so at least she was good in that sense. Tatum gives probably the best performance of his career so far. You really get invested in his character and care about the decisions he makes and that’s largely because of Tatum himself. This is also the best performance from Alex Pettyfer, but that isn’t saying much. He’s decent in his role and is able to hold his own in scenes with the more experienced actors. Matthew McConaughey steals almost every scene he’s in. His character of Dallas is humorous, a little deceiving and shows that he’s still got some moves.

The rest of the supporting cast provides most of the humor and fun in the movie. Matt Bomer (Suits), Adam Rodriguez (CSI: Miami), Joe Manganiello (True Blood) and former wrestler Kevin Nash fill out the rest of the strippers in the movie. Both Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez don’t get to do much with their characters other than dance and strip, although Bomer’s character does get a character addicted to pills at one point. Joe Manganiello is funny in his role of Big Dick Richie and Kevin Nash provides some laughs in the background as an older stripper who barely does any of the moves.

Soderbergh definitely adds his signature style to this movie and I’m always down to see that. I could have done without the yellow tint that he puts in the movie, like he also did in Contagion. This is my favorite movie of his since Ocean’s Eleven.

Magic Mike is fun, humorous, well-acted and has a good story. It could have been cut by maybe about ten minutes but nonetheless, the movie is good.

Rating: B+

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