The Proper Review
There’s more to Magic Mike than just a bunch of buff men getting naked: this is a film from Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh, after all. It’s the story of a penniless young buck, Adam (Alex Pettyfer) who’s thrown into an apparently shiny new world that offers way too many temptations for him to handle.
In the meantime his more seasoned mentor, Mike (Channing Tatum) starts to wonder if there’s more to life than stripping off his kecks in front of gaggles of drunk, randy women. It’s Boogie Nights with strippers, an American Fully Monty... but it only touches on the darker issues tackled in those films. Magic Mike is as much about fun and spectacle as it is about those important life choices.
The performance scenes are hugely entertaining: the guys go through dozens of costumes and routines while trying to part hordes of screaming girls from their hard-earned cash.
While all the boys are buff, Tatum (who was a stripper before he came to acting) has the best moves and duly takes centre stage as the titular Magic Mike. A romance with his friend’s sister is sweet but less involving than all the behind-the-scenes hedonism and racketeering.
The Inexpert Impressions
If you expect Magic Mike to be a matter of oiled abs and squeal-making hen-party antics, you’ve been had. Sure, it’s both of those things, in parts, but this film—one of the most intentionally mis-marketed piece of cinema in recent memory—is about self-reckoning. Channing Tatum plays the hot, dumb, modestly ambitious Mike, a mentor to Alex Pettyfer’s new boy about the bar.
Well, that was not quite The Full Monty-esque comedy I was expecting. Gritty, graphic and dark (the ultimate action man Channing Tatum is even spied shedding a tear), Magic Mike—in my humble opinion—isn't exactly a film I'd recommend to a gaggle of lustful ladies on a night out. Anything with Ryan Gosling in, on the other hand...
The ELLE team watched Magic Mike at Cineworld, Shaftsebury Avenue.
Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike
Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum in Magic Mike