Film Review: Channing Tatum Reveals the Male Stripper in ‘Magic Mike’

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CHICAGO – It turns out that Channing Tatum did a bit of male stripping on the way up the show business ladder, which adds some spice and verisimilitude to “Magic Mike,” a backstage tale about the masculine side of theatrical disrobing, supported by Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Boys just want to have fun in this male version of “Showgirls” – complete with the naive-kid-turned-exposed-performer and a clichéd subplot about his downfall. Channing Tatum is the centerpiece as the title character, and actually adds some depth into a solid story directed with a sharp edge by Steven Soderbergh. Throw in Matthew McConaughey in full “McCounaughey Mode,” and all will leave the theater exclaiming his catchphrase, “all right, all right!”

Tatum is Mike, a mysterious “entrepreneur” who meets a 19 year-old employment drifter named Adam (Alex Pettyfer) at a roofing job. He sees Adam later in the evening, and needs his help. Mike assigns Adam to start recruiting women to a male strip club, and once the duo finally gets to that club it is revealed that Mike is “Magic Mike,” one of the featured strippers in elaborately staged shows. Besides Mike, there are performers like “Big Dick” Ritchie (Joe Manganiello) and the host/owner at the club, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey).

Adam starts doing odd jobs around the club, until one of the strippers can’t get to the stage. Like a flashy ingenue that steps in for the star on opening night, Adam becomes “The Kid,” and becomes one of the performing brotherhood. This also comes with the backstage drugs, alcohol and women, and The Kid does succumb to those problems, much to the chagrin of his sister Brooke (Cody Horn). In trying to keep The Kid on the straight and narrow, Magic Mike also develops feelings for Brooke, just as his stripping “career” looks like it’s winding down.

“Magic Mike” opens everywhere on June 29th. Featuring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez and Olivia Munn. Screenplay by Reid Carolin. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Magic Mike”

Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum
Beef on the 4th of July: Matthew McConaughey (left, as Dallas) and Channing Tatum (Mike) in ‘Magic Mike’
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Magic Mike”

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