Movie review: Magic Mike

I could have probably waited for the video.  I might have even discreetly watched this movie one quiet Saturday afternoon while nobody was at home but instead, last night, I was one of 14 “Desperate Housewives” who headed up to Hornsby’s Event Cinemas in the Upper North Shore to be among the first Aussie chicks to view Magic Mike. 

Now not everyone will have the same reaction we did: imagine lot’s of semi-embarrassed cackling, “Oh!”s and hands covering the eyes…..well almost covering…. That’s because although Magic Mike delivers steamy male strip scenes featuring everything from Officers and Gentlemen, to Firemen, Policemen and Tool-belt touting tradies, it does mix the sweet with the unsavoury. 

Unlike the 1980’s Flashdance, Magic Mike pushes the boundaries with scenes and subject matter that will make some viewers uncomfortable.  In Flashdance where Jennifer Beale is transformed from strip club dancer to respectable NY Ballet rookie (with wealthy Porche driving boyfriend of course), Magic Mike’s Channing Tatum seems to take a more realistic journey.  The tables are definitely turned in this tale with Mike’s choice of career impacting his ability to be taken seriously by the opposite sex (though for most of the movie one is left wondering does he really care?).

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the movie was apparently inspired by Channing Tatum’s own experience as a male stripper and you get the sense that there was a desire to shine a light on the seedier side of the industry. 

When I first saw the ads for this movie, I have to admit I had some preconceived ideas about what it was going to be like.  Sure I was expecting beef-cake, lots of male hip thrusting, shallow characters and a very thin story line.  I can’t say this is necessarily Academy Award winning material BUT if you are OK with the subject matter it is entertaining and the performances are credible.  The big surprise for me was Matthew McConaughey who got right into the role of sleazy night club owner “Dallas” – at 43 he looks amazing.

Look I don’t advise taking the boyfriend – really it’s not for him.  This one is definitely a chick’s flick, a crazy hen’s night or if you’d prefer a quiet afternoon video when nobody else is around…..


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