Magic Mike [Dig]

A typical Soderbergh movie, complete with a snazzy soundtrack and montages, that eschews expectations. Although this film is about a (male) stripper, it is not a movie about stripping. Consequently, surprisingly, it was not very sexual. And a lot of it is due to the way in which Soderbergh directed and edited his film, as well as the dance choreography employed which was less erotic and more athletic  Nonetheless, the usual stripper cliches are all present: a stripper with a heart of gold, the newcomer, the Girl/Boy, the debauchery associated with being a stripper, and of course the climax where protagonist has to decide on his/her future (usually in or out of the stripping biz). But the difference here is that the protagonist is not the newcomer, which provides a refreshing change in POV and  story-telling direction. Channing Tatum has improved as an actor, I will give him his dues. His screen time with Cody Horn was one of his better performances (and really, he should stick to rom-coms). Alex Pettyfer has got the rakish bad-boy look down pat. The two male leads relationship started off feeling organic but developed into something a bit off in the end (you can believe it, but it is hard to really understand why. "Why?!"). Olivia Munn in a bit role is always fun to watch. However, the star of the show is Matthew McConaughey who turned in the performance of his career. He was mesmerising as the owner of the club and you can tell from the way McConaughey portrayed him that there was so much more backstory that could be mined from him: that he had been around and weathered of kinds of storm, and he will always keep on standing and moving forward regardless. Thankfully, Soderbergh did not dwell on him or had him laid his soul, but instead he had McConaughey doing his thing and owning it. There's a definite Golden Globe nomination for McConaughey and I will not be surprised if he sneaked in an Oscar nom too.


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