Published on July 4th, 2012 | by Robert Simmons0
Magic Mike: Bringing Realty to the Magic
Anyone who has a preeminent idea of what is to be expected will witness a contrast of seeing both more and less that they’re expecting. The film has the dichotomy of ripped, sweaty male strippers of the stereotypical woman’s fantasy and sincere story of two boys becoming men. The experience of watching the film presented a challenge: How to capture the female and male perspectives of a film where the men were classified as objects of lust (something relatively uncommon in modern cinema)? Simple answer: Send both a guy and girl to the film and get their thoughts from both perspectives.
The magic begins as Mike wakes up between two women (one being the ever charming Oliva Munn) as the opening credits begin and we already get our first shot of bare-all nature of the film. Mike (Channing Tatum) is an optimistic 30-year old with hopes of designing his own custom furniture, working roofing and detailing jobs in the daylight, before delving in to the “magical” nocturnal world of Exotic All-Male Dancing.
While on a roofing job Mike is regrettably forced to work along side Adam (Alex Pettyfer), who becomes Mike’s burden while bearing witness to Adam’s constantly unfortunate nature. Meeting again outside a nightclub Mike reluctantly allows the quiet Adam to come grab a drink with him. Inside the club Mike has Adam repay him for a favor earlier in the day and has him use what charm he has to “talk” to some young women in the club. With some surprising allure, Adam is able to get the two interested in Mike who presented them an opportunity few ladies would decline: Male Exotic Dancing.
We witness the transition as Mike and Adam’s friendship grows and Adam becomes the quintessential young charmer and newest dancer on the floor. Under guidance of Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), an ex-stripper turned club-owner, Adam finds a life he had never expected full of parties, women, and drugs. Mike on the opposite side of the story begins to distance himself from the club as he becomes more interested in Adam’s sister (Cody Horn). The film shows the brotherly bond between friends when one life spins out-of-control while the other tries to establish himself.
The female perspective was definitely an experience in and of it self. There are elements of becoming a man and some slight romance, but we all know that the main point and marketing of this film is to see the male show. The movie was all the trailer promised and more. Everything is shown and Channing Tatum and team (Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, William Levy, and Kevin Nash) combine a mix of sexy and fun leaving the ladies excited for the next scene. The story was a bit downplayed and should have been more thought out, but otherwise a must see with your girlfriends. If you are seeing the movie with intentions other than watching a story unfold, you will be happy you saw it in theaters.
The male perspective was a bit challenging. It could be written that it’s a distinctive experience watching a movie that objectifies the male gender, but it’s something not thought of in any other case. It’s a bit odd to say that I noticed after the movie most of the men seemed to be leaving the theater with a shadow of self-doubt on their faces having just watched amazingly fit and good-looking men dance around for 2 hours. Other than the unique feeling that I’m sure is all too common for the opposite sex, the movie was a refreshing look at a unique friendship, based on one’s charity for another and the development of it into what some would consider a success. The romance between Tatum and Munn, and Tatum and Horn is definitely shallow, but it’s enough to become interested. The distinct use of colors in the film (various shades wash over entire scenes)were reminiscent of “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Traffic,” Soderbergh’s other gems, bringing a gritty reality to the “fun nature” of the movie. The story allows the males in the audience to look past the buff and watch the dramedy that is “Magic Mike.” For story and the “visual” intrigue, this is definitely one to recommend for both men and women.