Film: Magic Mike (2012) Cast includes: Matthew McConaughey (The Lincoln Lawyer), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four), Cody Horn (Occupant), Olivia Munn (The Daily Show) Director: Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's Eleven) Genre: Comedy | Drama (110 minutes)

Dallas starts the show by reminding the ladies of the rules: "What you can touch and not touch," but adds, "I think I see a lot of law breakers in this house!" The next morning, Mike rolls out of bed, leaving Joanna and "What's her name?" As Mike heads to the bathroom, we get a generous view of the most astonishing body ever. [OMG. There's an audible gasp in the audience!] As Mike leaves for his roofing job, Joanna comments on the coffee table Mike's made. "You should sell these things." That's Mike's plan, as soon as he can convince the bank to come through with a start-up loan. When Mike gets to the sunny Tampa building site, he finds a bunch of new guys from a craigslist ad. They'll work for $14 an hour. Mike's new assistant, 19-year-old Adam, is clueless. After work, Mike gives Adam a ride home... to his sister's place, where he sleeps on the couch. Mike meets sister Brook. She's cute, but she has a boyfriend.

Adam wants to hang out with Mike, but Mike's going to a club that "won't let you in like that, dude." But he does get Adam in, sneakers and all. Mike's handing out cards for Xquisite, a male dance revue where Mike's the lead dancer. When Mike shows up at Xquisite with "the kid" in tow, they put Adam to work backstage. The show begins with the whole cast dressed in raincoats with umbrellas. When the music changes to "It's Raining Men," the coats fly off and we find out what's magic about Mike. It's another OMG moment as we watch Mike slither, thump, gyrate and undulate to the pulsating beat. Later when another dancer suddenly can't go on, Mike pushes his cute but clueless "friend" out on stage. Without an ounce of style, Adam strips down to his baggy briefs. The ladies find his "act" so amusing that they're generous with the tips. Adam's psyched!

"It's not going to be that easy every time," Mike tells him. "He can't dance for shit," Dallas observes. Adam wants to be Mike's best friend. Sister Brook isn't so happy about Adam's new best friend. "I was hoping this was a joke," she says. "You'd better take care of him, Mike." Mike says he will, but that's not going to be so easy. It's all been fun so far, but this clueless kid doesn't know how to navigate some of the dangers that Mike avoids. And if Mike can't squash some of Adam's enthusiasm, he may not be able to keep his promise. In the meantime, Mike has an "end game" he's working toward, and Adam could put all that in jeopardy. While there's a serious side to the story, this movie is mostly raucous fun. The story has a few obvious logic lapses, but the dialog is generally quite clever, and the fast-paced narrative keeps us engaged.

And then there's the dancing. Channing Tatum is remarkable, and Matthew McConaughey as the sleazy, slightly over-the-hill club owner/dancer has moves, too. Magic Mike turns the tables on the usual movies with women as sex objects, and does it in a way that has to strike a balance between raunchy and charming. If you buy the balance, Magic Mike finds "the sweet spot."

3 popped kernels (Scale: 0-4)

Mike uses a gig as a stripper/dancer to finance his real dream... he's got moves that border on pure magic.

Popcorn Profile
  • Rated: R (Partial nudity, sexual content)
  • Audience: Young adults
  • Distribution: Mainstream wide release
  • Mood: Upbeat
  • Tempo: Zips right along
  • Visual Style: Nicely varnished realism
  • Character Development: Engaging
  • Language: Irreverent
  • Social Significance: Pure entertainment

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categories Movies