Saucy comedy-drama set in the world of male strippers starring Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's 11) and inspired by Tatum's real-world experience. Now playing nationwide.
Barely five minutes in and Channing Tatum’s derriere is on display, chiselled to perfection for his turn as Magic Mike’s titular character. “Already?” gasped the girl sitting next to me. Yep. That’s what this film is all about – buttocks served taut. Plus well-oiled pecs. Lots of them.
File Magic Mike under unabashed fantasy. The script is inspired by Tatum’s before-he-was-famous stint as an exotic dancer but not even the strip bars of sun-soaked Florida could possibly be staffed with such fine male specimens and packed with such gorgeous, supportive clientele. “Sex, money and women – what’s not to like?” is Mike’s mantra.
Despite some tut-tut commentary on the commercialisation of sex and the perilous drug scene intertwined with the industry, Magic Mike is basically an excuse for a grinding good time. The tastiest Hollywood man candy get the arty treatment from director Stephen Soderbergh. It’s Raining Men is the cheesiest pick for an ensemble strip number, yet under Soderbergh’s eye the cliché comes off almost sultry and Tatum proves he’s still got the moves to summon a buck or two.
There’s a morality tale bubbling under the heat of the dance floor. Mike ponders his future in the skin business and wrestles with a bad guy meets good girl storyline. The outcome is predictable but since when have perve fests been about complex plots? The real treat is Matthew McConaughey playing Dallas, Club Xquisite’s lecherous owner. As the self-appointed messianic figure of the male revue world, McConaughey is pure magic.