|Channing Tatum (center) as Magic Mike|
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Produced by Reid Carolin, Gregory Jacobs, Channing Tatum, and Nick Wechsler
Written by Reid Carolin
Starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Cody Horn, Olivia Munn, Matt Bomer, Riley Keough, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez, and Gabriel Iglesias
Steven Soderbergh's latest film is a change of pace for the director after Contagion last fall and Haywire earlier this year, both of which were genre movies that were heavy on suspense or action. Channing Tatum stars as Magic Mike, a stripper-entrepreneur who dreams of owning his own custom furniture business. Under the watchful eye of his boss (a scene-stealing Matthew McConaughey), he brings in "The Kid" (Pettyfer) as a new stripper, getting involved with the rookie's sister (Horn) in the process. But the life of sex and money takes it toll on Mike, and he is forced to chose between what he really wants and what he pretends to want. While this is not a prestigious awards movie, it is a good time spent at the theater.
The film does not shy away from playing up the humor and the drama, and the cast is particularly successful in balancing these moments. Soderbergh's Tatum may seem like another take on his character from Haywire, but it works for the film. Meanwhile, the supporting cast is well-suited to the material, and the film succeeds in drawing the viewer into the world of these characters. There are moments of hilarity, of danger, of sex, of tenderness. Still, the movie manages to avoid going too over the top in its comedic scenes and being melodramatic in its more serious ones. This could have gone horribly wrong. It is no surprise that the film achieves what it does because Soderbergh knows how to make movies.
Oscar Potential: Best Supporting Actor (McConaughey)