Hollywood has a habit of mispromoting films, showing trailers teasers and posters which don’t truly interprete what a film is about. This is just another sleazy tactic to sell tickets. Anton Corbijn’s “The American”, a brilliant slow paced drama/thriller was promoted as some action blockbuster starring George Clooney. Remember the lady that sued the makers of “Drive” because she was expecting it to be like “The Fast and The Furious”? I could go on but you get my drift. Which brings me to “Magic Mike”. Steven Soderbergh’s film loosely based on Chaning Tatum’s (C-Tates) brief venture into male stripping.
I have to admit, I saw “Magic Mike” on the airplane cos I was too ashamed to see it at the cinema during its theatrical run. It’s a shame most of my fellow male folk still haven’t seen it cos they think it’s just about stripping and full of gratuitous male nudity. “Magic Mike”is not just a male stripper movie like the trailers portray. It’s a film about friendship, coming of age, looking at the future, ambition and getting caught up in the wrong. The stripping is just on the side, just a bright topic to gloss over the grit. I should also mention that this movie is really entertaining and good fun.
Did I forget to mention that “Magic Mike” was directed by Steven Soderbergh? The man that gave us Out of Sight, Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic, Sex Lies and Videotape, Contagion and so on. The man that was nominated for best director for two different films in the same year. Soderbergh is a versatile film maker, he never plays it safe, always experiments and this normally yields fascinating results. Alongside Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson he is one of the most influential filmmakers to emerge in the 90s. Speaking of PTA, if you like “Boogie Nights” (who doesn’t?) you’d probably like “Magic Mike”. Both are similar, youngin’ gets a non conventional job, goes off the rails etc. It isn’t as engaging as “Boogie Nights”, a far superior film but it is brilliant entertainment. “Mike” also has several good performances and a stand out great one by Matthew McConaughey who’s finally fulfilling his potential in a mini career renaissance (more on McConaughey in another blog post).
Honestly the stripping scenes didn’t even move me that much, they were just funny and corny as hell to me. There was one where C-Tates showed his impressive break dancing skills we haven’t seen since “Step Up” but that’s about it. If you’re a heterosexual man and you’re confident in your sexuality, I see no reason why dudes acting silly in thongs should bother you. And it’s not only the men that show skin in this film, Olivia Munn gets her tits out, that alone is a good reason to see any film. So check out “Magic Mike”, a very solid piece of cinema.