No movie in recent memory has screamed “Ladies Night!” more than Magic Mike. Also referred to by many as “the stripper movie”, this imperfect but entertaining flick takes us into the seedy world of male strip joints. It has tour de force performances from star Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, who is likely just playing a version of himself (bongos and all), but he’s having so damn much fun with it, you can’t help but grin every time you hear another chorus of “alright, alright, alright”.
Tatum, who most know by now actually was a stripper in his late teens, contributed bits of his own experiences to the story written by Reid Carolin. By getting Steven Soderbergh to direct, he definitely scored a bit of a coup, gaining some instant cred for what could have been written off as complete fluff. Not that there isn’t a lot of beefcake on display. Tatum is joined onstage by Matt Bomer (White Collar), Adam Rodriguez (CSI: Miami), Joe Manganiello (True Blood) and Kevin Nash (of WWF fame) in group routines and does a couple of impressive solo numbers, featuring his hip hop skills. Seriously, striptease aside, these are all well-choreographed and lots of fun. The bumping, grinding and male nudity only added to the proceedings. There was a lot of cheering in the screening I attended. McConaughey also has a showstopper of a dance near the end of the film, so even if your patience with the story is wearing thin, hold out for that scene.