30th Jul 2012 5:13am | By Emma Salkild
Believe it or not, Magic Mike is a lot more than just a film about stripping. It’s a film about aging and self-discovery, and surprisingly, it’s a compelling human drama. Sure, Channing Tatum takes his clothes off in a few scenes too.
Mike (Channing Tatum) is a labourer/wannabe business owner by day and a stripper with a heart of gold by night. After taking the directionless Adam (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing he soon discovers he has bit off more than he can chew. But will Adam’s guarded sister (Cody Horn) make it all worthwhile?
Based on Tatum’s past (he was an exotic dancer before he became a model and then an actor) the film is packed with strong – pardon the pun – performances. There are some casting treats such as smarmy club owner Matthew McConaughey who leads the all-male dance revue that he dubs the “cock-rocking kings of Tampa”. And Mike’s booty call Olivia Munn who bares (almost) all in one scene.
Mike’s aim is to save enough money to realise his true ambition – to own a firm producing superior custom-built furniture. Because every stripper has passion project, unless you’re McConaughey and your passion actually is stripping.
Directed by the talented Stephen Soderbergh, it’s more gritty and less formulaic than your average rom-com but still delivers a good dollop of crowd pleasing soppiness. The pecs don’t hurt either.
Verdict: Four stars
Good for: A chance to objectify men in the way The Full Monty failed