Magic Mike Screen 14 articles

Magic Mike

2012

Magic Mike Poster
  • An extremely conventional backstage story, Magic Mike is occasionally enlivened by Soderbergh's aesthetic curveballs—the halo-shaped lens flares suggesting Adam's halcyon view of the club; a long night of debauchery with major plot consequences rendered as an experimental study in color and shadow.

  • Not hard to see why folks compare this to The Girlfriend Experience, but Soderbergh managed to fragment that one so that its essentially trite narrative was difficult to discern. Here, the platitudes and conservatism loom larger and larger as the film progresses, ultimately swamping any lingering curiosity about the milieu or any (mostly ostensible) focus on economics.

  • Explicitly establishing Tatum and his fellow washboard-abbed co-stars as objects to be looked at, Soderbergh ultimately fails to find a means of exploring the nuances of this reversal of the erotic gaze. The dance numbers, filmed largely in master to medium shots as the rock-hard bodies of Tatum and the rest of the Xquisite crew undulate their bare asses while often non-diegetic music blares, never establish a proper perspective on the action...

  • At its wittiest when lingering on G-strings stuffed with crumpled bills or on the shirtless Uncle Sam at a Fourth of July number, the picture is quickly swamped by rote plot mechanics, jaundiced cinematography that seems to infuse the screen with clouds of piss, and crummy improv. The idea that the characters are gods on the choreographed stage and hapless off of it can excuse only so much flatness.

  • [Magic Mike is] a movie that counterposes oblique art-film experimentation with deftly-executed beefcake musical numbers, real-world detailing with Hollywood escapism, and clinical analysis with actorly charisma—all without ever betraying its genre, setting, archetypal characters, or raison d’être.

  • If Magic Mike’s stripping sequences have the lively snap of ambiguity, much of the film’s more plot-driven sections run on overused character types and stale moral calculus. The glorious exception to this rule is McConaughey’s Dallas, a flat-out fantastic comic creation and the film’s debauched soul.

  • [Soderbergh's] experience with myriad filmmaking styles gives him a good idea what will and won't register dramatically in a movie. Honing an aesthetic that enables him to make movies in any environment, Soderbergh is figuring out how to make any environment the stuff of movies.

  • What begins as a bromantic comedy ends, conventionally but satisfyingly, as a nicely low-key romantic drama. It's a movie that affirms heterosexual hegemony while making a large chunk of the audience predisposed to espouse them nervous—all while remaining great fun—is a rare specimen. Magic Mike succeeds on all counts.

  • Magic Mike is a film, at its core, about a sex worker during the prolonged financial crisis, starring an actor who has also been that manner of sex worker in real life. The character is not altogether miserable, but pushed into economic distress and increasing precarity. A representative of immaterial and affective labor, from a macroeconomic perspective such a worker is a true figure of the crisis...

  • “Magic Mike” sounds like a Soderberghian experiment and maybe it is, though not on a conspicuous level. Save for a luridly colored bacchanal, an entertaining attempt at drug-fueled, sex-spiked Expressionism, the movie has little of the formal experimentation that sometimes characterizes Mr. Soderbergh’s feature-film work. Yet the collaboration between Mr. Soderbergh and the relatively untested Mr. Tatum is itself a gamble, one that has brought out the best in each.

  • Soderbergh's characteristic lack of bias is especially impressive given the stigma surrounding such a profession. Magic Mike portrays the business of male stripping for what it is - a business, just as worthy of exploration as any other pastime humans choose to embark on... The film sees stripping both as an extension of the primitive urge for sex and sociality and as a lucrative option for aimless but well-meaning twentysomethings forced into odd jobs by the reality of the American economy.

  • The final shot, indeed the final moment, is wonderful for its low-key simplicity, as if to say that real life may not have the glitz of a Chippendales routine but engaging with it brings its own rewards. After the threesomes, orgies and detachable cod-pieces Magic Mike offers a quick, impulsive kiss. How prosaic, and poetic.

  • Magic Mike is a genre film, but the formulaic structure allows one of America's best directors to engagingly explore one of his continual themes: the disorienting relationship between sex, commerce, and the American dream.

  • It is a small, often sad, film about relationships, concerned (but never ponderously so) with the compromises to personal integrity that come with pursuing the American dream in a sclerotic economy, evoking an utterly convincing and compelling sense of place and character throughout.

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