The strippers’ life may seem all fun and glamorous. As the 19-year-old “Kid” Adam (Alex Pettyfer) discovers when Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) brings him into the world of stripping, it is “money, women, and a good time.” However, life is more than being magical on stage, and the film is more than the sex appeal of beefcake. It is about choice-making to Mike, about what makes a truly satisfying life.

The strippers’ life may seem all fun and glamorous. As the 19-year-old “Kid” Adam (Alex Pettyfer) discovers when Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) brings him into the world of stripping, it is “money, women, and a good time.” However, life is more than being magical on stage, and the film is more than the sex appeal of beefcake. It is about choice-making to Mike, about what makes a truly satisfying life.

In Club Xquisite, Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) leads a team of male strippers that proclaim themselves the “Kings of Tampa.” It is indeed magical to make a whole room of women go crazy, scream out loud, and stuff money into their underwear up to $200 per night.

The energy and atmosphere of masculinity is absolutely engaging. You are watching a movie, and yet, you’re enjoying the show as much as the screaming female audience in Club Xquisite. Tatum’s real life experience as a stripper explains his fantastic dance move and performance that would take your breath away.

Also impressive is Dallas’ staging as the head of the crew. He is the boss on stage and behind stage. He calls the shot, so powerful that unites the whole crew and catches the entire audience’s attention. His guitar solo “Ladies of Tampa” is almost improvisatory and by all means contagious.    

The lack of background music off stage is the key that makes the interactions between characters real: how Mike easily strikes up conversation with girls in a bar, how Adam appears to be naïve first time stripping, and how Adam’s sister Brook (Cody Horn) challenges Mike’s lifestyle.

Reasonable and clam, Brook’s personality is made salient by Horn’s genuine interpretation of the situation she faces. She is helpless and struggling when her brother loses himself taking drugs. The interaction between Brook and Mike is the process of figuring out who Mike really is. She wants to know, and he wonders how she perceives him is different from how he sees himself, if he knows.

Life off stage is just as mundane and usual like ours. It is about choices, about what Mike really wants. “A lot of the story, to me, is about the way in which we misplace our emotions, pick the wrong things and the wrong people to invest in,” says Steven Soderbergh, the Oscar winning director (“Traffic”).

Written by Reid Carolin, “Magic Mike” is produced by the collaborative effort of Nick Wechsler, Gregory Jacobs, Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin. The filmmakers combined locations from both Playa del Ray, California and Tampa, Florida to create the story’s Tampa setting.

As real as the story feels, the pretty girls abounds in the strippers’ world seem to make it more fun than a true stripper’s life. Is it really that sexy, funny, and crazy? Take a peek into the male strippers’ world in “Magic Mike” to find out! Be prepare to be overwhelmed by Tatum’s charisma on stage as a rock star and behind the scene as a truthful man with compassion and a dream.   

Rating: R
Running time: 110min




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