Thursday, July 19, 2012

Not really a review of Magic Mike

"You are the husband they never had. You are that dreamboat guy that never came along."

Beyond the giggling girls (and yes, even boys) that trooped down the movie houses for Magic Mike are people castigating the film for the lack of a so-called decent plot. I found this baffling. From the very beginning, the film did not give any promise of a complicated storyline worthy of an Academy Award. There were shots of pecs, butt exposures and glaring sinews from the trailers. Such were the fine points that brought in thousands of audience that swarmed theater houses around the world, there’s no doubt about that. But wait, there’s actually more.

Magic Mike follows the story of Magic Lane, played by the venerable eye-candy Channing Tatum, a struggling entrepreneur hoping to raise enough money by working as a male stripper in Dallas’ (Matthew McConaughey) strip club. Until he meets the 19 year old Adam (Alex Pettyfer) who would later become the club’s protégé despite his not-so-legal-age. Magic Lane meets Adam’s sister (Cody Horn), fell in love with her and found his true calling in life.

The magic is definitely not in its predictable story. The magic lies within the visuals and the portrayals.

By visuals, I’m not referring to gyrating almost naked men, but the powerful choreography and the “stripper’s world” the film created. Steven Sodenbergh successfully created that realistic “stripper’s world” unlike the many caricature ones we watched from the past. The texture is inviting. In fact, those “naked” scenes are very much enjoyable, daring but not distracting. The characters’ movements, even mannerisms are well driven by their persona, almost real.

But the most commendable thing about Magic Mike is that it doesn’t try to preach anything. You wouldn’t find a thing that says “stripping is bad” or that “stripping should be condoned” or any other similar things. It’s just there, a part of life about strippers, going as natural as people flocking to churches every day.

Which is where Matthew McConaughey would enter. I have many things against him as an actor but he provides those fresh breaks from the flow of the film. It probably helps that his character is likeable enough; playful and balls-out (figuratively and literally). Alex Pettyfer is better than he did in I am Number Four, probably thanks to Sodenbergh’s careful direction. But noticeable is Joe Manganiello Big Dick Richie. Maybe because we are used to seeing him as the serious and temptous werewolf from True Blood, that he is so exciting to watch being light and having fun. Or maybe because he provides that necessary comic part. Or maybe he’s just simply lovely.

On Channing Tatum, the film provided a break from his monotonous too-much-of-a-cheese roles. The camera loves, not only his well chiseled body, but his subtle actions. It was very well played that it’s difficult to catch him acting his role out or saying his lines. He went with it as natural and as fluid as it can get. His gazes blended well with that golden tone of the film. He’s got more to offer than what people normally see. Give him the proper roles and nicely premised films and he’ll prove his worth, I’ll bet.

Cody Horn is disappointing. She doesn’t have that chemistry that would go well with Channing Tatum. She’s stiff. It could be argued that she was supposed to be the contrast to the stripper by being the uptight nurse but that scene where she’s supposed to be breaking out upon seeing his brother passed out, lashing over Channing, betrays her. There was no enough conviction put.

Magic Mike is fun. Films can be just fun and enjoyable without too much fanfare in it. It presents a reality, a part of life most of us we don’t have access to. That, I think, should be enough along with the glistening man-flesh, suggestive dance moves and the fantasy it incurs within our playful minds.

5 reaction(s):

bien said...

I saw this the other day at Gateway and I too, was expecting more, maybe because it's a Steven Sodenbergh film.

Were it not for Matthew McConaughey, the film would have been a bore.

Maybe Hollywood should leave it to pinoys when it comes to films on macho dancers. chika langgggggggg

Lone wolf Milch said...

I didnt expect that this movie will be a box office hit in the US. kasi siempre mga bakla at babae lang manood nito

Pero based sa mga reviews na nabasa ko, the movie is really good at pwede din siya panoorin ng guys.

So dont judge the movie until you watch it first

Désolé Boy said...

Lone wolf Milch - Am I to understand that you are referring to me when you said "So dont judge the movie until you watch it first"? Because I watched the film TWICE the uncut version and the one that was distributed here in The Philippines. I wouldn't comment on it in the first place if I didn't.

Mac Callister said...

im dying to see this movie! Torrent copy nalang kasi for sure na di yan mapapalabas dito sa doha hahaha

Lone wolf Milch said...

@desole boy

Im not reffering to you. kasi its obvious na some straight guys, wont watch this movie kasi baka mapagkamalang beki sila pagnanood sila sa sine, sabi ng iba panggirls lang at pangbeki yung movie kasi its about male strippers

pero based nga sa reviews ng movie critics sa rotten tomatoes website the movie is good. so possible na magustuhan na din ng male audience yung movie.


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