Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Reid Carolin
Stars: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias and Olivia Munn
This movie has been highly anticipated to millions of women and gay men around the country, perhaps the world. I didn't get the chance to see the movie when it first opened, because of my unpredictable work schedule. Now, that the torrential rain hitting my city has eased up I saw it. Hearing reviews of this movie was that it was something of substance, I think it should have more of it.
A scandalous video showcasing the lack of dance moves by a then 20-year-old pre-Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum surfaced two years ago. The hubbub of it lead into making a fictionalized version of that time of his life with Steven Soderbergh directing it.
The story is about the titular character, Mike (Tatum) or his onstage moniker Magic Mike trying his damnedest to save enough singles to help start up his unusual custom furniture business. He also moonlight as a mobile detailr -- whatever that is -- and a roofer when he meets a scruffy 19-year-old slacker, Adam (Pettyfer). Adam crashes on his sister, Brooke's (Horn) couch for time being, much to Brooke's chagrin.
What's a male version of a "meet cute"? Adam meets up with Mike to enlist a couple of partying girls to come up to Mike's place of a business. It turns out that Mike is a stripper working an all male revue called Xquisite. Think of the Chippendales parody from SNL with Chris Farley. It feels kinda like that. The manager, Dallas (McConaughey) hires Adam to be the bitch boy. He meets the peripheral strippers to fill the screen like Ken (Bomer), Tito (Rodriguez), Tarzan (Nash) and Big Dick Richie (Manganiello). Fate steps in when Tarzan OD and Adam, now called "The Kid" by Mike is thrust -- no pun intended -- on the stage to work the females into a frenzy.
After the reaction of the ladies, Dallas hires Adam to be a part of the crew. He has to keep his new occupation from his sister until she gets suspicious about his costumes. Brooke warns Mike to watch Adam closely. Mike takes Adam under his wing to teach him the ropes of being the best stripper he can be.
Which is the gayest movie, this or 300? Gun to my head, I would say 300. It has lots of mens in loincloths. This movie has bare asses, dick shadows and banana hammocks galore. Don't get me wrong. I thought it was a solid film that has some problems with the third act with a contrived plot device that was tacked on.
I never thought I would say this, but Channing Tatum gives a very good performance here. I was impressed with his dance moves when he was not humping the stage. Thank you, Step Up. Pettyfer was good as Adam. McConaughey was compelling as the scuzzy manager. The real revelation was virtual unknown Cody Horn as Brooke. She was the overbearing sister, but she wasn't a prude with his beliefs about the stripping lifestyle.