Soderbergh Scores with Outlandishly Entertaining Magic Mike
MAGIC MIKE (2012/In Theaters) So a certain fellow Serious Movie Lover and I found ourselves in a theater full of ladies the other night. There was booze in our soda pop and electricity in the air. We were not disappointed. Magic Mike is hysterical. One hundred and ten minutes of jaw dropping spectacle. Nudity of all types and combinations, drugs, language, sparkly sequined thongs, grinding, gyrating, homo-eroticism, shiny torsos, and countless delightful costume-y hats. The plot, such as it is, revolves around the titular Mike (a surprisingly charming Channing Tatum), a male stripper with higher aspirations who loves a good time, and his protege, The Kid (an unsurprisingly bland Alex Pettyfer, or perhaps you know him as Number Four? No? Just us, then). I won’t spoil the finer details — love story, yada yada, morality tale, blah blah blah. The real reason to see this movie is the gloriously greasy performance by Matthew McConaughey as Dallas, the ring leader of our stripper pals. Dallas is the ultimate realization of the untrustworthy-but-oddly-charismatic-sleazeball persona McConaughey introduced us to in Dazed and Confused. He is a wonder to behold. Tatum really is great too, putting his Step Up moves to good use and showing an appealing sense of humor. The rest of the strippers do pretty well and look respectfully chiseled and shiny. Cody Horn, as The Kid’s protective sister, is impressively terrible, mistaking squinting blankly for “portraying emotion.” But it doesn’t matter. Her role evaporated from my brain the minute I walked out of the theater. We say, go see this and don’t expect anything more than a raucous good time. You will not be sorry.
Grade: A (for Aaaaw yeah)
PS — Here’s an interesting read from The New York Times about McConaughey’s shift from rom-com crap to more interesting roles of late.