CATEGORIES Movie NewsPony up, ladies! This weekend sees the release of the hunk-tastic "Magic Mike."
As promised, the Steven Soderbergh-directed film delves into the world of male stripping and boasts plenty of eye candy: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodriguez.
There's no doubt that audiences will be lining up in droves for this titillating flick, but how does "Magic Mike" really measure up? Let's take a look in this week's Pro-Con. (MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW)
PRO: Matthew McConaughey Let's just get this out of the way right now: Matthew McConaughey was perfect as the perma-shirtless emcee, Dallas. He was able to capitalize on his nude, bongo-playing persona (he actually played the bongos at one point), but with a wink. You've never heard the ubiquitous "all right, all right, all right!" until you've heard McConaughey say it while in stripper-garb.
PRO: The Spectacle I'd put "Magic Mike's" fictional club, Xquisite, against just about any stripper joint around. Sure, it's hard to not enjoy Hollywood's hunkiest parading around shirtless, pant-less, chap-less, etc., but these fellas can dance! From Western-style shoot-outs, hip-hop break dancing and umbrella-wielding numbers, the "Cock-Rocking Kings of Tampa" are much more than pretty faces.
CON: Rihanna's "We Found Love" was nowhere to be found I mean, that made the trailer!
PRO: Channing Tatum It's kind of startling what this man can do on stage. As the eponymous Mike, he is like a mythical stripping figure (the every stripper, if you will); his skills are mind-boggling, and that body! Ladies, get out a big wad of ones and prepare to fan yourself for two hours.
CON: The length Heyo! No, but seriously, after an hour and a half, we've had our fill. (Heyo again!)
PRO: Channing Tatum wearing glasses AW. He wants to be taken seriously!
CON: Channing Tatum being serious Tatum is having a well-deserved moment. This guy came from the hot-man-abyss and, in the last year alone, went onto out funny Jonah Hill in "21 Jump Street" and star in two Steven Soderbergh films. For most of the movie -- even clothed -- he's a real charmer. But! When Mike loses his magic (sorry) and starts in on a little weep-fest, it's kind of cringe-worthy.
PRO: Steven Soderbergh directed this This could have been really cheesy in someone else's hands. Although the world of male strippers seemed too ridiculous for a versatile director like Soderbergh, his signature sleek style and close-up character portraits made it work.
PRO: Logistical accuracy As a native Floridian, I know that it's the center of national depravity and completely ridiculous. "Magic Mike" is set in Tampa, Florida. There are SUVs and beach trips; they have a hurricane party. It's just good research.
CON: Olivia Munn's storyline Olivia Munn plays Joanna, the pansexual bookish girl (what?) who plays Tatum's hookup buddy. She's far from a competitor to his real crush, Brooke (newcomer Cody Horn) nor does she represent the dysfunctional warmth of the stripper community. She studies psychology and comes over for quickies and complains when he asks questions (again, what?). So, I mean, that's nice?
PRO: Joe Manganiello as "Big Dick Richie" The "True Blood" stud was blessed with more than his name reveals: He's easily the funniest stripper in the bunch.
PRO: Alex Pettyfer's stripper cinderella story Even though he seems like THE last person to ever be interested in stripping -- in loose boxers and a worn-out hoodie -- Pettyfer's Adam (a.k.a. The Kid) takes to the stage like a duck to water.
CON: Alex Pettyfer's character development Drugs? How predictable.
PRO: The love story We knew it was coming from the get-go: Mike and Brooke were destined for romance. But this was far from the focal point of the film -- Soderbergh consciously staved off the inevitable as to avoid any rom-com pitfalls.
CON: The love story The fact that the romance was left until the very end of the film only made it that much more frustrating. There was no way it was not going to happen, so why not just own it?
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