Magic or Tragic?

  Surely you’ve all been hearing about the movie all the girls and women are flocking to this weekend.  Yes that’s right it’s Channing Tatum’s newest flick, Magic Mike, where every woman’s fantasy comes true.  While most women and nonstraight men are calling it a great movie, and most straight guys are calling it a disaster, this reviewer decided to once again travel into the theater.  I’ll admit now that seeing the trailers I was expecting a lot of ab shots of Channing and the other dudes, with brief interludes for developing a very predictable and classic story line.  Boy was I wrong, as this movie has so much more than I predicted which for once was not a good thing.  So read on if you wish to learn more about the latest light porno, Magic Mike.

For those who haven’t been fooled by the trailer yet, Magic Mike is a story of Mike a hardworking man who lives in Florida.  To obtain his dreams of opening up a custom furniture business, which look like Andy Warhol designs, he works numerous jobs, one of which is stripping.  Yes that’s right Mikes main source of income is showing off his body to countless women who are happy to line his skanky underwear with bills.  However, one lady manages to penetrate the flock of cougars, drunks, and dreamers and somehow manages to stimulate something deeper in him.

However that magical/shallow story was just a front for the real magic the directing team had in mind.  Although Magic Mike was crafted to portray the life of a stripper, which was Channing’s life prior to being an actor, it is in fact a film to appease women with eye candy.  While the abs are used to bait unsuspecting audience members into the theater, the rest of the magic comes in the form of countless shots of bare bottoms, uncovered boobs, and a few glimpses of the male genitalia.  The raunchiness doesn’t stop there though as the cameras take it one step further to allow one to see males and females have sex and touch parts without any consequence at all.  Why women were screaming and clapping delight for watching these scenes I’ll never know, but for me this light porno was rather disgusting and trashy.  Despite the graphic nudity though, I will admit this movie was able to bring the male erotic dancing world to life, capturing the backstage and onstage life in all its “glory”.  The setting, cheesy skits, and bass driven music was combined to make a show that will have women of all ages drooling.  Tatum, although not the best actor, can certainly dance, and like his first movie the man still has moves that are impressive.  Unfortunately it’s not enough to save the movie from its countless weaknesses

As for the story, well it’s different from the generic love story I thought I’d be forced to watch and in fact is a tale of two strippers.  One story focuses on the rise and fall of the character named Adam and his dive into the world of female entertainment.  The second and perhaps main story of course is on the fall and rise of Mike, part of which involves the lovely lady you’ve seen in the trailer. Unfortunately both tales involve the excessive consumption of alcohol, which the movie seems to endorse as the only way to have a good time in the world today.  It’s hard for this reviewer to remember a scene where Adam or Mike weren’t hung over or without a beer in their hands, which to me is just sad.  Although they show the horror of drug usage, Magic Mike also has some graphic drug use and humor that I didn’t care for.  Although it is most likely used to highlight the low points of their lives, showing multiple shots of drug induced highs, sex, and violence is not my idea of a good time.

Were there any positives to this movie?  Yes, but for me they were very weak positives that I can’t really say are worth a trip to theater.  The biggest strength perhaps is the music, which is fitting for the countless dance numbers, and party scenes in the movie.  However, for those not big on techno music/ heavy rock you’re out of luck.  If you’re wondering about the dialog, well when it’s not using the F word seven times in the same sentence, it’s using rather cheesy innuendos that are more eye rolling than lots of laughing.  Yet there a few lines that are golden in the sea of trash that are good for a quick laugh, but again they are few and far in between.  As for the acting, well Matthew McConaughey being the chameleon he is, knows how to play a sleazy alcoholic well.  Tatum also does his part justice, and may for once be the best actor of the crew, though he still needs work on delivering his lines less awkwardly/kiddy.  As for Alex Pettyfer well he knows how to play an arrogant, smart alek, bum who can be an idiotic jerk well, which I applaud.

I’m pretty sure that if you’re a fan of light pornos, Channing Tatum’s body, or stripper movies you will absolutely love this film.  However, there is not much to this film other than countless stripping and sexual gestures.  With a rather shallow plot, weak dialog, and some rather pointless shots I can’t say there is much to promote about this movie.  If this review isn’t too late than I suggest the only reason for going to the movies to see this film is for a bachelorette party situation, otherwise wait until the DVD/Netflix release.  Warning don’t take your preteen or teenage daughter to see it until you have tried it or you may be in for a surprise.

Here are the scores:

Comedy/Drama: 6.0-6.5

Movie Overall:  4.0

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