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Film Reviews Blog: Not So ‘Magic Mike’

By Mikhail Chernyavsky
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The film is rated “R” for pervasive sexual content, brief graphic nudity, language and some drug use.

“Magic Mike” was much more entertaining as a tease than the full show.

The first 30 minutes of the film are funny and deliver on what it promises, a naked rear view of the “OMG! He’s so hawt” Channing Tatum (Magic Mike). (Fellas, if your girlfriends drag you to this film, rest assured there are some girly parts to hold you over.)

Tatum, a former stripper himself, shows off some great moves on the stage and is the clear breakout performer among the all female audience, which happens to be full of nothing but attractive under 30-year-olds.

Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas, owner of the Xquiste strip club, is an eccentric, and oiled up, show host looking to upgrade the club to the big leagues. He, like the rest of the cast, is enjoyable on stage and provides some good laughs.

However, this male revue loses its charm and appeal as it quickly changes pace from a fun comedy and transforms into a dark tale of drugs and partying.

There is no question that working in a profession where people who shove dollar bills between a string holding up a tiny piece of cloth barely covering your genitals isn’t demeaning.

So, self-destructive behavior and partying with drugs shouldn’t be too shocking to see. However, the film’s marketing pinned it as a lighthearted comedy with a little romance and the change of pace seems forced.

Imagine that you’re having a conversation about how amazing your favorite thing is, then out of nowhere, someone joins in the conversation and starts talking about how your favorite thing does evil in the world.

You go from enjoying yourself to wondering how things took such a strange turn.

Aside from the marketing misdirection, the film is clichéd. Young Adam (Alex Pettyfer) is the naïve and attractive 19-year-old who is introduced to show business by Mike.

During his first night at the club, he is quickly thrown up onto the stage as a fill in after one of the show’s strippers is found incapacitated.

From there it’s down a road of carefree sex, endless partying and the inevitable drugs.

What’s disappointing about the film is that it tries to make some valid points about the difficulty of working in the nearly cash-exclusive business and transitioning into a more socially acceptable profession.

Mike has aspirations of owning his own business. The only thing standing in his way is a bank loan. Due to his lack of credit, he can’t get the loan, even though he has thousands saved up.

Besides Mike talking about the business, the issue is only directly addressed once when he goes into a bank dressed in his Wall Street best trying to apply for a loan.

This is only one of many plot points briefly brought up in the film that is never really resolved.

In 1997’s “The Full Monty,” the main protagonist’s goal was to make enough money to go see his son.

Magic’s day in the life of a stripper approach doesn’t give us an end goal that Mike strives for, or achieves.

Teetering too much between being a comedy and a drama, the magic quickly fizzles as the film is as unsure as the characters of what it is trying to accomplish.

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