Magic Mike. If ever a title of a movie called out for mocking Magic Mike does just that. Rated R for suggestive dancing, brief nudity, implied sex, drug use and general carousing this movie has everything needed to make it a success including Matthew McConaughey and yet managed to be a bit of a yawn. It isn’t the first time a movie about strippers has failed, Showgirls and Striptease both spring to mind, but it is the first one about male strippers. Maybe it is an equal opportunity bad idea for a movie to begin with but movies about strippers are fundamentally little morality plays about the evils of making profit from the crime of being young and beautiful. Magic Mike, for most of the movie, manages to escape this aspect of the typical stripper movie (there have been many of them) but in the end has to go there because we have to see that Magic Mike has grown as a person.
Magic Mike is played by Channing Tatum who, once upon a time, strutted his stuff as a stripper and it shows on screen. Tatum knows how to dance and grind but he is alone in that skill set with the other strippers relatively lackluster in comparison. Matthew McConaughey is brilliant as the self involved, narcissistic club owner Dallas who is all about the dance and sex and is in buff shape for this movie though he could have spent more time in the gym working on those lats and glutes to be a convincing stripper. The down fall of Magic Mike though is that there is no one character who is at all interesting or with whom you are willing to invest any emotion. They are as much cardboard cut outs off the stage as they are on the stage. With a lack of anyone compelling enough to interest the viewer all that is left are the dance scenes which while entertaining are really just a tease. If you want a decent stripper movie where you can invest yourself with the characters try The Full Monty it is a much better story and you will watch it more than once but the men aren’t nearly as pretty.