Magic Mike review

Steven Soderbergh
Matthew McConaughey
Channing Tatum
Alex Pettyfer
Cody Horn
Rated: R

Magic Mike follows the story of the title character. Mike, played by Channing Tatum, has been a stripper for a few years now, all to save up enough money to eventually start his own furniture business. To Mike, the lifestyle is just a means to get by, as he happens to work in other jobs, too, like construction. One day at his construction job he meets a young guy named Adam (Pettyfer).

Adam is for the most part, a screw-up, living on his sisters couch and not really able to hold his job. That is until Mike decides to help him out and convince the owner of the strip club Dallas (McConaughey) to hire him. At first things seem to be going well but as time goes on Adam starts getting into trouble, meanwhile Mike begins getting closer with Adam’s sister Brooke (Horn).

The film’s plot has a very slice-of-life feel to it. The film doesn’t really follow any real conventions in terms of plot, instead it has a focus on a few different things going on, Brooke’s relationship with Mike, Mike getting closer to possibly opening his business and Adam getting into trouble with the dangerous lifestyle that some of the other strippers get into.

Having the focus be on multiple characters and subplots were what really made the pacing of the film work and added depth as well. The film has some comedy and romance points, yet at its core it is a drama that uses stripping to tell a story, and it does it well. The film never really drags with the amount of things going on.

The acting was for the most part really good. If there’s one thing that Soderbergh knows how to do it’s be an actor’s director, getting the most out of every performance. Channing Tatum is really starting a good streak here, first with his great work in “21 Jump Street” and now with this playing a rather compelling role. McConaughey also delivers a good performance by being the most charismatic person on screen.

A major weak spot in the movie though was Cody Horn as Brooke. Throughout every point in the movie it seemed like she responded to everything with a sort of blank expression, I would have liked a little more emotion to be brought out from her. Some of the smaller roles were fine though, Olivia Munn was good for the small parts she was in.

“Magic Mike” is a surprisingly well done drama. It has nice performances and well-paced and developed subplots. There are some weak spots and it isn’t perfect but strong enough for a 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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