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STUDIO Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME 110 minutes
– Deleted Dance Scenes
– Backstage On Magic Mike
– The Moves of Magic Mike
This isn’t the movie you think it is.
Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Olivia Munn, Cody Horn
Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) is a entrepreneur who spends his nights working as a stripper for the Kings of Tampa. After meeting Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and forcing him on stage, the two become best friends and slowly let success get the best of them. After ruining things with Adams sister Brooke (Cody Horn) as well as allowing Adam to spiral out of control, Mike realizes he must make some changes to his lifestyle if he ever wants to succeed.
Magic Mike is a movie about male strippers, and yes, there are a lot of scenes featuring mostly naked men.
I know for a fact that this small detail has turned a lot of people off regarding the movie, which is a damn shame, as Magic Mike was one of the best films released in 2012. Soderbergh and Tatum have crafted a film that isn’t afraid to embrace its subject matter and leave those behind who aren’t willing to give it a chance. This is a film full of nuance, where every performance relies on slight glances and carefully chosen inflections in order to get across large chunks of emotion.
It’s obvious from the start that Tatum helped write this movie, as his experience as a male stripper pays off big time. The club feels like a real place, and all the goings on backstage feel appropriately uncomfortable and grimy. Soderbergh shoots the dance scenes as though they were stage productions, and rather than focus on the obvious points of interest he treats the dance moves as the stars rather than the male genitalia on display. The routines ended up being some of my favorite parts of the film, something I never thought I’d be comfortable saying when I first popped the disc in.
Thankfully, the movie that surrounds these dance routines is just as entertaining. Mike’s journey from a man settling for the easy life to one willing to take some chances and chase his dreams is a slow one, but if you stick around you’ll be rewarded with a satisfying experience. I’ve seen criticisms that this film has no plot, and while it certainly isn’t heavy on it Mike does have a character arc that I found thoroughly engaging. This is a movie about regular people doing regular things, and that’s just fine when it’s done this well.
The performances are absolutely stellar from front to back, with Tatum and McConaughey stealing every scene they’re in. I knew Tatum was something special after he caught me by surprise in 21 Jump Street, but I never thought I’d see McConaughey in a role like this. He completely embraces how outlandish everything is and seems to be having a blast doing so. Between this and Killer Joe, 2012 was definitely his year.
I could go on and on about everything else that works in the film, but unfortunately this seems to something that the community has already made up its mind on. Those that consider it to be soft-core porn refuse to be convinced otherwise, and nothing I can say is going to change that. If you’re open minded enough to give this one a chance, I think you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised by how well made and subtly endearing this film can be.
I’m sad to say that the extras on this disc leave much to be desired. The behind the scenes short only deals with the dance routines, as do all of the deleted scenes from the film. I really wanted more input on the dramatic segments of the film, but oh well. This isn’t a blu-ray you’ll be buying for the bonus features.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars