Works Its Magic
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
It had to happen: A male version of that old movie “Flashdance.” But in this case the dancer wants to open a custom furniture business rather than win a ballet scholarship.
This turn-the-tables movie is called “Magic Mike,” which is the eponymous stage name of our Chippendale-like entertainer, Mike Lane. He works for a girls-night-out cabaret in Tampa called Xquisite. There, his boss is an aging dancer and greedy jerk named Dallas. Mike introduces him to the Kid, a screw-up construction worker with a pretty sister. Mike’s boss likes the crowd-pleasing dance moves of the Kid; Mike likes the Kid’s disapproving sister.
In many ways, this movie is merely an excuse for allowing moviegoing housewives to watch hot male strippers. Much safer for the reputation than visiting an actual club.
There are plenty of dance numbers throughout the movie, costumed routines à la “Flashdance.” And numerous excuses to show bare butts. The ladies in the on-screen club screamed in delight. Ladies in the movie theater joined in. Several well-groomed young men screamed too.
“Magic Mike” is proving to be a terpsichorean delight during its run at the Tropic Cinema.
Hardbodied Channing Tatum (“21 Jump Street,” “Dear John”) makes Mike magic. Matthew McConaughey (“The Lincoln Lawyer,” “We Are Marshall”) adds proper sleaze as the not-yet-over-the-hill boss. And lean-and-mean Alex Pettyfer (“I Am Number Four”) is convincing as the up-and-comer Kid.
Cody Horn (“Occupant”) has a young Brigitte Bardot look as the Kid’s sister. And Olivia Munn (“Iron Man 2”) is on the mark as an aspiring psychologist who provides Mike with no-strings-attached sex while he secretly longs for his pal’s sister.
There are drug deals and double crosses, sorority strip-a-gram parties and hurricane bashes. Pills, drinking, and mindless sex – the life the Kid always dreamed of.
Farfetched? The movie is supposedly based on star Channing Tatum’s experiences as a 19-year-old male stripper in Tampa. Back then, he performed under the stage name of “Chan Crawford.” After being spotted on the street by a talent scout, he became a model for such brands as Armani, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Dolce & Gabbana. That led to acting. If you want to call it that.
My wife calls it a guilty pleasure.