Magic Mike (2012)

Magic Mike

Magic Mike Review

Magic Mike is a 2012 comedy drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey. Although by no means a good film, it is still solid nonetheless.

It follows 19-year-old Adam who, guided by a professional Mike, enters into male stripping. It is a basic story that benefits from some interesting approach. First off, by having in focus three characters and all three of them interconnected, the movie manages to be always interesting and deftly handled. But I absolutely loved its third act. The dialogue between Mike and his love interest Brooke who is also Adam’s sister is superb. It is the time in the film where we finally get the themes and the examination of its subject matter. And I absolutely adored its conclusion which is perfect and so charming and sophisticated.

However, the other parts of the movie are not so good unfortunately. The whole first half is just filled with endless stripping sequences which are not only prolonged but also get in the way of the story and themes. And also some of the character moments and arguments were obvious, typical and just tired. It starts well and it ends wonderfully, but the whole middle part needed some work.

The characters are okay in Magic Mike, not too memorable or well developed, but still quite solid for this kind of work. Mike is a realistic character and his moments in the later parts are all memorable and even heartbreaking.  The same goes for Adam and I also liked Brooke a lot and the relationship between the two was really sweet. Dallas is too over-the-top but still entertaining.

The acting is quite solid. Channing Tatum is surprisingly good in his role and he brought some really well done scenes. Matthew is once again larger than life and very memorable and Cody Horn is quite solid. Everyone here did a solid job, nothing too remarkable, but still the acting is more than passable.

The directing from Steven Soderbergh is quite good and the scenery is really beautiful to watch along with the choreography in the stripping sequences. The humor is also surprisingly good and not only refreshing for being present, but also with some really funny moments. The score is forgettable but the use of songs during the routines is well realized.

The tone in Magic Mike is well handled ranging from comedic to dramatic. It also has its warm scenes with the emotional investment being quite present in its last third, although a little shallow and cold earlier. It is also wonderful to look at with great imagery and good-looking people everywhere. As for the script, it has its smart and relevant moments, but is overall lacking and could have been much more sophisticated and should have brought more of the problems of stripping and more social commentary. But it is very grounded in approach and somewhat of an important movie and even a cautionary tale. And it is definitely a memorable film and even authentic to some degree given its new and different subject matter.

Magic Mike is quite a solid film. It is not as sophisticated as it should have been, it is predictable and it should have had more dramatic and meaningful moments, but the third act does have some nice dialogue, a very charming ending and fine character moments. It is also solidly directed and acted with an interesting subject matter and the movie does look good and is quite entertaining and even funny. It could have been much better, but it is still a surprisingly good film with its fair share of memorable moments.

My Rating – 3.5

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