Once again, Channing Tatum is naked in a movie. Only this time, it is related to the plot.
“Magic Mike” opens today, and if you can look past the sweaty, muscular male strippers, you will see that a dramatic story lies beneath all the body oil, pulsating music and hundreds of dollars in single bills.
Mike (Tatum) is an entrepreneur at heart. He is a talented craftsman who creates custom furniture but works in construction on the side. He also has a mobile car detailing business. However, his main source of income comes by way of Xquisite, a male revue ran by Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). As Magic Mike, he leads a troupe of four dancers who grind, slide and gyrate their way to the bank with singles, fives and some $20 bills every now and then.
While at a construction site, Mike meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a 19-year-old college dropout in desperate need of cash. Mike scores him a job behind the scenes at Xquisite, but before he knows it, Adam — or “The Kid” as Mike quickly christens him — is shoved on stage into the limelight.
Although Adam is extremely cynical of the thought of stripping, he soon sees it for what it is — a business. Dallas may orchestrate on a show for the ladies, but his entertainers know money is the only priority.
Consistent success comes in the form of performances complete with themes, costumes and choreography. From safaris to operating rooms to jungles, these men go above and beyond to create a fantasy for bachelorettes, divorcees, sorority girls and any other women who have a few dollars they don’t mind stuffing into a complete stranger’s G-string.
The previews made “Magic Mike” out to be a romantic comedy of sorts, but it was more than that. Don’t get me wrong — the stripping scenes are aplenty and everything else pales in comparison to them — but there was a heavy amount of unexpected drama.
However, it still will be a guilty pleasure for some of you. There were times when I couldn’t tell whether the clapping and catcalls were coming from the extras in the movie or the people a few rows behind me. I was just waiting for singles to fly through the air during some scenes.
It’s widely known that Tatum used to be a stripper, so there wasn’t much effort on his part to play this part. It was obvious watching him that he had done this before.
He also served as executive producer, and Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh was also behind the helm. However, the power behind the scenes can’t erase the fact that this is still a movie about men who take their clothes of. There are just some extra plot lines thrown in.
One of them involves Adam’s sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). Her character is supposed to be a love interest of sorts for Mike, but this aspect of the film seemed sort of thrown in. Brooke mainly just stares a lot and makes wisecracks every now and then. Overall, the character was flat and boring. But don’t worry — the male entertainers will wake you up.
It may be hard to anticipate a deep story in a movie about male strippers, but “Magic Mike” is worth the $10 or $12 ticket. Unfortunately, it’s not in 3-D.