We had a secondary lady escape this week and went to see Magic Mike, a movie about male exotic dancers starring quite the roster of attractive dudes.
Let’s start here:
I’m going to put it out there right away, Magic Mike is Showgirls with dudes. There are some differences–Las Vegas turns into Tampa, instead of a high end dinner show it’s an after hours strip club.
No one “slips” on beads or gets shoved down the stairs, but the story arc is the same: Seasoned pro dancer finds talent and recruits them into the world of exotic dancing, benefits and then pitfalls of the lifestyle are revealed…and, well, if you’ve seen Showgirls, you know how it generally plays out.
There is one marked difference between the two movies–Magic Mike has sympathetic characters, foremost is Mike himself. In a movie that people are going to see solely for the D and A (there is not actually any D, but there is quite a lot of A), Channing Tatum manages to be the guy you are rooting for. He doesn’t do anything outright shitty, has a soft spot for the Kid, and busts his ass trying to make his dream happen.
We all know this person IRL. Mike is the guy who keeps plugging away with his positive attitude, even though he keeps getting knocked down, pushed aside, and beat up. The one that you feel bad complaining to about anything because they’re life is in constant turmoil, but they sit there and listen to your problems anyway offering advice, a shoulder to lean on or a place to crash.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing the details of the story, just know there is a plot. It takes up a good portion of screen time. This is not Chippendales the Movie. There are a lot of numbers from the Cockstars of Tampa, but it isn’t a straight two hours of dancing, naked dancing, and sex.
Some random thoughts:
I liked the choreography.
Channing Tatum is an impressive dancer (I had completely forgotten about his breakout role in Step Up). His time as a male dancer (both exotic and in music videos) obviously served him well in his character preparation for this role.
Matthew McConaughey is funny, sleazy, and hot.
Check those shorts. Alright, alright, alright.
He plays his Matthew McConaughey archetype, and I had to laugh at his constant bongo playing. Dallas is his character from Dazed and Confused with an entrepreneurial spirit and leather pants.
The movie is constructed to be a panty dropper, and judging by the women seeing the movie with me (not just my group, the theater had one male patron–a septuagenarian there with his wife), it succeeded. In fact, there was one lady in particular who had a visceral reaction to the end of the movie–not the actual ending, but that the movie stopped.
I would say the movie had one misfire when considering its audience. In one of the dance scenes, Joe Manganiello throws his back out in a maneuver with a heavy girl. Really, a movie made to attract the female 18-34 demographic is going to make a joke at the expense of someone who is a representative of the majority of that group. Not a wise decision.
Summary, if you want to see men’s butts, go see Magic Mike, you won’t be disappointed and you may get in a good laugh.
Leaving with my favorite number from the movie: Channing Tatum dancing to Ginuwine’s “Pony.” (Seriously, express ticket to my pants.)