2 July 2012 | gilligan-11
It's not about the stripping...
This might come as a shock to some, but this is not really a movie about male strippers. Yes, two of the principal characters are male strippers, but—as Channing Tatum's character (Magic Mike himself) says at a crucial point in the film, "That's what I do—it's not who I am." Amid the bountiful buttcheeks and brawny pecs on display, there is a real story here about ambition, and goals, and loyalty, and commitment, and self-actualization. Yes, I used the term "self-actualization" in a review of "Magic Mike"; I told you you might be shocked.
At any rate, plenty of folks (like the pathetic woman who was sitting behind me in the theater, the one who clapped like a poorly trained seal, guffawed, and cackled any time the least bit of male skin appeared on screen) will go see this movie because of all the hype about the hot male bodies in various states of undress—and they will certainly enjoy the film on that very basic level. But let's be honest here, folks—this is a Stephen Soderbergh film—and Soderbergh does not use sex and titillation gratuitously. The plot is compelling, the film is well written and masterfully directed, and Channing Tatum proves that he is much, much more than a hot body and a pretty face. For his sake, here's hoping that "Magic Mike" can propel him along a career path similar to those of other handsome actors who managed to overcome "Movie Star" looks to prove that they were genuine actors. Like Brad Pitt.