Behind the Bandwagon: Magic Mike

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Watching Magic Mike has been a long time coming.  Obviously the trailer and promos caught my eye in the most delightful way, but the critic’s positive reviews were even more intriguing.  The film did not disappoint.  On the surface, the “Cock Rocking Kings of Tampa” are fantastic to look at and I could have almost had MORE of it.  Am I objectifying those sexy slices of male?  Yes.  Do I care?  Not really, that was pretty much the point.  The film goes deeper than undeniable sex appeal, though.  There is an actual story (gasp!).  Channing Tatum’s character, the titular Magic Mike, is a 30ish male stripper with big dreams.  He’s stuck in an easy job with a destructive lifestyle, and although he thinks he’s above the lifers around him (a salivating combination of Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and Adam Rodriguez), he’s just as stuck and complacent.  That is, until he meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer, gorgeous per usual) and his older sister Brooke.  He mentors Adam, creating a monster, and has to answer to Brooke and her judgemental criticisms.  Naturally, he comes to the light and changes his ways and all (well, just he and Brooke) live happily ever after.  The end.

I liked the movie, don’t get me wrong, but I have some major issues.  One, whoever plays Brooke (I don’t care enough to check the Bible: IMDB) is a terrible actress and has no chemistry with Channing Tatum.  I didn’t feel it, and it was supposed to be a driving force with the film.  Two, why would her character, who so hates Mike’s lifestyle and has never shown any interest whatsoever, suddenly decide in the last two minutes that she wants to be with this newly reformed Mike?  Three, what’s with the fairly arbitrary and short-lived drug dealing subplot?  You could take that out and the movie is 100% unchanged. 

Obviously, many women (and men) can take this movie at its surface level and have a strip show on the big screen.  Lots of hot men and no substance.  When it does come to the substance, though, some aspects have gotten lost in translation.  I applaud the effort, however, and love the gender reversal.  We normally objectify women as a culture, and while no gender should be objectified, it’s nice to see the shoe on the foot.

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