So … the much-anticipated male stripper film Magic Mike finally opened in theaters this weekend and I was able to see the film at last. After many months of talking about the film, we can all see what the fuss is about. While I generally liked the movie, I do feel that there were many parts of the film that I didn’t like. I know that many folks are looking forward to seeing this movie because of the male flesh that is exposed but one thing folks should consider before they head to the theater — Magic Mike is a Steven Soderberg film first and a male stripper film second.
If you are looking for fun male stripper scenes, then you are going to LOVE Magic Mike. Every male star exposes his ass on the screen and for some, that’s enough for the price of admission alone. BUT, I should inform you that the stripper scenes make up a small percentage of the film. Most of the “action” that takes place in the film happens off the performance stage. While some parts of the story are funny and cute, a lot of the film is darker and more serious … far more serious than you might expect from a male stripper film. I can’t say that I have a problem with Soderberg’s attempt to legitimize the plot by making it take on a more serious tone but, I’m sorry to say, the actors featured in this film are not capable of making that somber, seriousness believable. I love Channing Tatum, I really do, but he is not a very good actor. When the story gets serious and he has to “act”, I couldn’t help but laugh at his inability to emote with any believability. There is a scene where he starts crying and, I’m sorry, I just couldn’t go with the moment. There are a lot of strange second tier characters in this film … some that could be taken out completely and their presence wouldn’t be missed at all. Because the stripping scenes do not take up most of the screen time, there are long periods where everyone is fully clothed … and talking too much (at one point, a female audience member yelled out “Take off your clothes” to one of the characters on screen trying to be serious … it was humorous, the audience laughed). But, altho there were things I didn’t like, I did enjoy myself over all. I’d rate this movie a solid B, a 7 out of 10. The film may turn out not to be what you expect but, IMHO, its attempt to be something more than is expected is, at the very least, commendable.