Saturday, August 5, 2017

Magic Mike

Movie Name: Magic Mike
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, Kevin Nash, Gabriel Iglesias, Betsy Brandt, Riley Keough
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon

Following his double feature releases of 2011, with "Haywire" and "Contagion", prolific director Steven Soderbergh returned in 2012 with what turned out to be a surprising hit, the low budget "Magic Mike". The film, loosely based on the life of actor Channing Tatum (before he became famous that is), follows the story of Mike, a male stripper and dancer living in Tampa, Florida. Mike works as a dancer with hopes of saving enough money to start working on building furniture and making that into his main business. During the day he also works construction, which is where he meets the young Adam. He takes the kid under his wing, and soon he is dancing with the troupe. Mike soon meets Adam's older sister, and becomes clearly smitten by her, and her grounded and no nonsense type of personality. As events unfold, he realizes it's time for him to make decisions and finally grow up.
Steven Soderbergh is one of the most talented film makers currently working. He is as an interesting story teller, as he is one of the most well versed technically inclined film makers (he edits and does the cinematography of most of his films). What has been interesting to witness throughout his career, is his choice of material. "Magic Mike" mostly succeeds in his approach to capture both the spectacle of the performance, and the actual life of these young men, who strip for a living and basically live in this bubble of attention and surreality, that seems to be about to burst at any moment. It's a film that is thin of story and character development for most of the supporting characters, but it still allows for Matthew McConaughey in particular to build a charismatic and magnetic character, with his host of the club, the older (and not necessarily wiser) Dallas. It's an interesting exercise for a fantastically gifted director. Worth watching.