He might have the all-star handle of an American basketballer, but Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) belongs in a different kind of fivesome; although he does dribble his sweaty balls alongside a team of pumped and primed blokes for money. Mike works on a building site by day, but at night it’s the ladies he hammers, with his grinding, thrusty, butt-clenching man-moves as a member of Xquisite, a male strip show lead by the oleaginous Dallas (Matthew McConaughey).
Yes, Mike bares his bod for cash, and yes, Mike enjoys threesomes but that doesn’t mean he’s sleazy. Mike’s just a good guy, trying to stuff as many George Washington faces in his jockstrap as he can in hope of one day flashing free from the dancefloor to set up his own custom furniture business. Because that’s what’s really sexy. Not.
Mike meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer)—a mangy dosser who is sleeping on his sister, Brooke (Cody Horn)’s couch while he tries to pick up some work. Mike takes Adam under his bicep and gets him a job with the glossy posse as The Kid. All is spray-tan bright and shiny until Adam stage-dives into the moist underbelly of male stripping, poking his head into all the wrong holes: drugs, gangsters, threesomes, and having his sister find him passed out in his undies in a pool of his own vomit.
Where Mike represents the good, clean, harmless fun of stripping, Adam is the trashy sleaze, gyrating the story into an unhappy world of seedy squalor. If Magic Mike had simply been a frivolous film about male strippers, filled to the shorts with ripped abs, slick torsos and gratuitous innuendo, it might have been as playfully innocent as a tequila worm. Instead, Magic Mike tries to get serious, which is about as fun as downloading a porn film, only to find that it stars your parents.
Group that with a limp script, stiff acting (especially from the aptly named Horn), muffled dialogue, and a sickly yellow colouring in the visuals, Magic Mike promises much but delivers little. Even the punters in the on-screen strip club seem unimpressed and frigid, which deflates the mood, and therefore the experience, for the cinema audience. Watching other people watch a strip show is about as much fun as it sounds, making Magic Mike self-consciously voyeuristic.
Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Riley Keough, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias