Before you read critiques of the movie, understand this -- you're going to see a movie about male strippers. You're going to see Channing Tatum rip his clothes off and gyrate half-naked on screen for the better part of two hours. If you're not interested in seeing that I suggest you stay home. It's all about expectations here. Sure there were some things about Magic Mike that were bad, but the good definitely outweighed them, and if you're going to see the movie to judge it on its cinematic accomplishments you may be disappointed. Its kind of like those people who criticize Fifty Shades of Grey for its poor writing style. You just simply might not be getting it if that's what your focusing on.
So, what was good about Magic Mike? Well for one, the dancing! I saw this movie with my three girlfriends and each of us muttered more than a few 'are you serious?!'-es during the dance sequences. I believe there might have been a catcall or two as well. Then we might have googled Chippendales shows immediately upon leaving the theatre. It's that good, and Channing Tatum is the best of all.
Speaking of Channing Tatum, he's really good in this movie, and not just on stage. Because he's so likeable. And hot. And I know that, since the movie is based on his experiences as a stripper, he should be good, but even though he's very much an A-list actor right now he still gives it all he's got in the stripper scenes. There's a lot of cheese in this movie, but he and the rest of the cast know it, and the cheese is delivered exactly the way it should be. Magic Mike is what Rock of Ages couldn't be.
And color me impressed but I was surprised, a lot, by how good Matthew McConaughey was. McConaughey plays the role of the aging strip club owner Dallas so well that you totally believe him when he's teaching 'The Kid' how to grind for the ladies while wearing a yellow spandex crop top and booty shorts. As opposed to Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages who had to be the most distracting part of the movie, because he was trying so hard he wasn't even remotely believable. Tom Cruise tried so hard to channel his aging rock star in the movie, I was surprised he didn't tattoo it on his back. Matthew McConaughey just was his character. He reminded me a lot of Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights. By far the biggest and best surprise for me in the movie.
Of course with the good there's always the bad, and there was some bad in Magic Mike. The biggest for me being the casting of Adam, aka 'The Kid', played by Alex Pettyfer. Pettyfer played his role very one-note. He was neither likeable nor attractive, and I left the theatre wondering how he won the role. Both the casting of Adam and his sister Brooke, played by Cody Horn, left me shaking my head. Because as likeable as Channing Tatum was in this movie, he had zero chemistry with Cody Horn. How can you not have chemistry with Channing Tatum?
All in all, Magic Mike was a fabulous movie if you're going to see it for the hot men stripping down to G-strings on stage. If you're expecting really great storytelling to go along with it you might be a bit disappointed, and if you're a dude, you might want to skip this one. Again, it's all about expectations. I say put your critic hat away, grab your girlfriends and enjoy the show!