No hat trick or quick sleight of hand can save you from the unevenness of Magic Mike, the new film from film auteur Steven Soderbergh. It tries. Believe me, it tries, having so many gorgeous men prancing and dancing about, it's definitely trying to pull one over you. It's the art of illusion. If you can see through all the flash and flair, you will notice that this film is trying to be something that it's not, and you will be disappointed.

It's about a stripper, "Magic" Mike (Channing Tatum) that dreams of bigger and better things, such as owning a custom built furniture store that he hopes to open with his many book-pressed dollar bills that he gets from stripping. You see, stripping is just the means to an end, along with apparently 500 other jobs he has, one being roofing, where he meets slacker extraordinaire, Adam (Alex Pettyfer). The story swiftly changes focus on Adam and we see he doesn't really have a drive in life, just an over-protective and nagger extraordinaire sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). Mike introduces Adam into the world of stripping, where we meet Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), the man with a plan to get Xquisite, the male strip show, to Miami. Then, the film introduces the other characters, Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), Big Dick Richie (Joe Maganiello), and Tarzan (Kevin Nash) in a delightful initiation scene for Adam but then the film forgets about those characters except for dance scenes that are meant more for comedy relief than actual sexiness. The lure and intrigue of money and the lifestyle of these genuine playboys tempt Adam further and further and he slowly starts making a name for himself with the moniker "The Kid" in the stripping scene. Of course, Brooke is not happy about this life decision, but Mike reassures her that he will take care of the kid. Even though Mike has this psychology major Joanna (Olivia Munn), who seems to enjoy Mike's many talents sans him asking questions, on speed dial, there is something about Brooke's squinty eyes and love for breakfast that get his feathers ruffled, so obviously Mike swoops in with his massive....charm to try to get at that, but wait, his peacock moves won't work on her. He will actually have to grow as a person.  All this happens while Adam continues to grow more into a "punk" as Gabriel Iglesia's Tobias would say. 


There is nothing new to Magic Mike that hasn't been done in so many other films before. The rise to fame and the corruption of it is every Hollywood story over the hill. The one thing that this film had going for itself was the stripping angle, but it plays it too safe. It's a shame really because this could have been a nice exposé on the male stripping scene that hasn't really been explored before. The most interesting parts are the scenes when Adam is first introduced into the stripping world, because like Adam, you are also losing your virginity to this bizarre world of pelvic thrusts and thongs that many aren't familiar with. 

There is a montage of The Kid coming to his own and next thing you know, he's more popular than Matt Bomer or Joe Maganiello characters. It's hard to believe. Like this, there are many parts of the film that are hard to believe. The dancing is horrible. Mike moving in on Adam's sister and Adam not giving a hoot. Mike thinking he can get a business loan with horrible credit. Why does he even need a business loan? It's called the internet! Sell your Hurricane Katrina salvaged furniture on the net like the scavenger that you are. 
Who knows where the film failed. It might have been the script by Reid Carolin, who also played Brooke's tool of a boyfriend Paul, as this is first feature film script, but then I wouldn't put it pass Soderbergh to infuse the script with his film experiments that have plagued many of his films since the horribly experimental film Bubble.  There are scenes that just seem like they are ad-libbing and it just calls attention to the unfortunate truth that some of these actors aren't really that gifted.  The film teeters back and forth between comedy and drama so abruptly, you wonder if the writer has some bi-polar tendencies.  Plus, no one likes a sad stripper.

The film does have some nice editing up its sleeve, deftly cutting scenes abruptly here and there with great comic timing.  The dub-step intoxicated soundtrack makes for a good head bobbing trance while watching the film, but then the music ends and you realize that all you're left with is a headache.  As midnight numbers show, females will flock to see these hunky hombres strut their stuff, but they will shortly realize that their money will be better spent on real entertainment - actual male strippers.


No hat trick or quick sleight of hand can save you from the unevenness of Magic Mike, the new film from film auteur Steven Soderbergh. It tries. Believe me, it tries, having so many gorgeous men prancing and dancing about, it's definitely trying to pull one over you. It's the art of illusion. If you can see through all the flash and flair, you will notice that this film is trying to be something that it's not, and you will be disappointed.

It's about a stripper, "Magic" Mike (Channing Tatum) that dreams of bigger and better things, such as owning a custom built furniture store that he hopes to open with his many book-pressed dollar bills that he gets from stripping. You see, stripping is just the means to an end, along with apparently 500 other jobs he has, one being roofing, where he meets slacker extraordinaire, Adam (Alex Pettyfer). The story swiftly changes focus on Adam and we see he doesn't really have a drive in life, just an over-protective and nagger extraordinaire sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). Mike introduces Adam into the world of stripping, where we meet Dallas (Matthew McConaughey), the man with a plan to get Xquisite, the male strip show, to Miami. Then, the film introduces the other characters, Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), Big Dick Richie (Joe Maganiello), and Tarzan (Kevin Nash) in a delightful initiation scene for Adam but then the film forgets about those characters except for dance scenes that are meant more for comedy relief than actual sexiness. The lure and intrigue of money and the lifestyle of these genuine playboys tempt Adam further and further and he slowly starts making a name for himself with the moniker "The Kid" in the stripping scene. Of course, Brooke is not happy about this life decision, but Mike reassures her that he will take care of the kid. Even though Mike has this psychology major Joanna (Olivia Munn), who seems to enjoy Mike's many talents sans him asking questions, on speed dial, there is something about Brooke's squinty eyes and love for breakfast that get his feathers ruffled, so obviously Mike swoops in with his massive....charm to try to get at that, but wait, his peacock moves won't work on her. He will actually have to grow as a person.  All this happens while Adam continues to grow more into a "punk" as Gabriel Iglesia's Tobias would say. 


There is nothing new to Magic Mike that hasn't been done in so many other films before. The rise to fame and the corruption of it is every Hollywood story over the hill. The one thing that this film had going for itself was the stripping angle, but it plays it too safe. It's a shame really because this could have been a nice exposé on the male stripping scene that hasn't really been explored before. The most interesting parts are the scenes when Adam is first introduced into the stripping world, because like Adam, you are also losing your virginity to this bizarre world of pelvic thrusts and thongs that many aren't familiar with. 

There is a montage of The Kid coming to his own and next thing you know, he's more popular than Matt Bomer or Joe Maganiello characters. It's hard to believe. Like this, there are many parts of the film that are hard to believe. The dancing is horrible. Mike moving in on Adam's sister and Adam not giving a hoot. Mike thinking he can get a business loan with horrible credit. Why does he even need a business loan? It's called the internet! Sell your Hurricane Katrina salvaged furniture on the net like the scavenger that you are. 
Who knows where the film failed. It might have been the script by Reid Carolin, who also played Brooke's tool of a boyfriend Paul, as this is first feature film script, but then I wouldn't put it pass Soderbergh to infuse the script with his film experiments that have plagued many of his films since the horribly experimental film Bubble.  There are scenes that just seem like they are ad-libbing and it just calls attention to the unfortunate truth that some of these actors aren't really that gifted.  The film teeters back and forth between comedy and drama so abruptly, you wonder if the writer has some bi-polar tendencies.  Plus, no one likes a sad stripper.

The film does have some nice editing up its sleeve, deftly cutting scenes abruptly here and there with great comic timing.  The dub-step intoxicated soundtrack makes for a good head bobbing trance while watching the film, but then the music ends and you realize that all you're left with is a headache.  As midnight numbers show, females will flock to see these hunky hombres strut their stuff, but they will shortly realize that their money will be better spent on real entertainment - actual male strippers.