Magic Mike (15)



Drama (2012)
110mins US

Starring: Olivia Munn, Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Alex Pettyfer, James Martin Kelly, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello, Cody Horn, Adam Rodriguez, Matt Bomer
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer(s): Reid Carolin
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Adam lands a temporary construction job alongside nice guy Mike. That evening, he crosses paths again with Mike who introduces Adam to the local male nude revue bar, where delirious women thrust dollar bills into the sweaty orifices of gym-toned Adonises. It transpires that Mike is the club's star turn and a mishap affords Adam a chance to perform on stage. Under his new moniker of The Kid, he becomes a firm favourite of the female clientele but adulation comes at a price.

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LondonNet Film Review
Magic Mike

The gloves are off - the shirts, trousers and thongs too - in Steven Soderbergh's cautionary tale of ambition and greed set in a Tampa Bay male nude revue bar...

Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas) and Alex Pettyfer (the Kid) in Magic Mike. Photo: Glen Wilson. Copyright: 2012 Lionsgate UK.Loosely inspired by lead actor Channing Tatum's brief stint as a stripper, Magic Mike delivers on the promise of copious oiled, naked flesh, which should guarantee healthy attendance from female and gay audiences. Sadly, apart from the good looking cast and another solid performance from Tatum, who threatens to melt celluloid with his crotch-thrusting dance solos, Soderbergh's film lacks emotional depth and substance. Male actors seem to be having a blast and we enjoy a fair few giggles at their expense, especially Matthew McConaughey who parades around the screen in skimpy underwear and demonstrates the questionable art of bump and grind in front of a mirror. Reid Carolin's script occasionally errs towards the crass as it charts the descent of an inexperienced stripper into drug-fuelled oblivion. Throughout, Soderbergh harks back to the glory days of his breakout feature, Sex, Lies And Videotape, with energetic, free-flowing direction that keeps our eyes and ears engaged when our brains are idling in neutral.

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas) and Alex Pettyfer (the Kid) in Magic Mike. Copyright: 2012 Lionsgate UK.Adam (Alex Pettyfer) lives in Tampa Bay with his responsible sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). He lands a temporary construction job alongside nice guy Mike (Channing Tatum) but on his very first day, Adam is sacked. As he roams the town, Adam crosses paths again with Mike who introduces him to the local male nude revue bar, where delirious women thrust dollar bills into the sweaty orifices of gym-toned Adonises. It transpires that Mike is the club's star turn and earns big bucks alongside fellow dancers Ken (Matt Bomer), Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tarzan (Kevin Nash) and Tito (Adam Rodriguez) under the watchful eye of manager Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). A mishap affords Adam a chance to perform on stage and under his new moniker of The Kid, he becomes a firm favourite of the female clientele. "I have money, I can sleep with who I want, I have freedom because of you," Adam tells Mike. "I'm having a ball!" Adulation comes at a price.

Magic Mike boasts several frenetic dance sequences and an eye-opening sight gag involving a hand-operated pump and one character's rapidly swelling ardour. Tatum anchors the film with his sensitive, believable portrayal of a dreamer, who is ploughing all of his tips from the club into a fledgling custom furniture design business. Screen chemistry with Horn never progresses beyond a simmer as an upbeat frothy first half gives way to a plodding, ponderous second, enlivened by occasional directorial flourishes. It's not so much All About Eve as All About Steve. The mercurial Soderbergh that is.

- Kim Hu


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