Commentary

July 13, 2012

In theaters

Fly Over: Magic Mike: In Florida, male strippers earn their keep

by Capt. Tristan Hinderliter

When Channing Tatum was 19, he worked for a while as an exotic dancer in Tampa, Fla., going by the moniker “Chan Crawford,” and wow, does this dude have some moves. With a 6’1” frame and built like a linebacker, he moves with the grace and athleticism of a gymnast.

Tatum uses that background and body to full advantage in “Magic Mike,” a funny, serious film directed by Steven Soderbergh (who also directed Tatum in the 2011 mixed martial arts slugfest “Haywire”) based on a screenplay by Reid Carolin.

Soderbergh masterfully marshals the ripped abs and gyrating hips of a tremendous ensemble cast, including Matthew McConaughey, who is in top form here as Dallas, who manages (and performs at) the male strip club Xquisite in Tampa. Clad in nothing but black leather chaps, vest and cowboy hat, McConaughey has never been more charismatic on-screen (which is saying a lot).

He has five men working for him, Ken (Matt Bomer), Tarzan (Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodriguez of “CSI: Miami”), and a gentleman played by Joe Manganiello whose “nom de strip,” as it were, I cannot repeat in this family-friendly newspaper.

But the superstar is Tatum, who goes by the nickname “Magic Mike.” Mike also works in construction, runs a mobile detailing service, and has dreams of opening his own custom-furniture store.

One day on the construction site, he meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer), a 19-year-old slacker who has just moved to Tampa to live with his sister, Brooke (Cody Horn). Adam gets fired his first day on the job when the foreman accuses him of stealing. His car won’t start, so Mike gives him a ride home.

The following evening, Adam is out in the bar district when he runs into Mike outside a club. Even though he is underdressed in jeans and a hoodie, Mike gets him in and puts him up to approaching a couple of girls standing at the bar. When he does, Mike swoops in to tell the girls he will be performing that night at Xquisite.

Adam, who has just learned of Mike’s other occupation, accompanies him to the club. Despite the fact that he is underage, Dallas agrees to pay him to help with the night’s show. When one of the regular performers overdoses, Adam is pushed out on stage in his place. It turns out “The Kid,” as he comes to be called, is a natural.

Over the next few weeks, Adam and Mike become friends, and Mike hits it off with Brooke. As Mike takes Adam under his wing, he shows him the ropes of stripping, takes him to parties and introduces him to women. Brooke isn’t happy with Adam’s new lifestyle, but Mike promises to take care of him.

When drugs are introduced into the equation, however, things take a bad turn. Ultimately, this film is more a morality tale than buddy comedy movie, and in fact has some parallels to “Boogie Nights,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnificent 1997 movie set in California’s adult entertainment industry of the 1970s and 80s.

Soderberg, whose credits include the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies and “Traffic,” has experience directing charismatic actors in an ensemble cast, which he does superbly in this movie. And while Tatum and Pettyfur may not be Pitt and Clooney, “Magic Mike” definitely holds its own with the big boys.

Chan Crawford, I’m guessing, would be proud.

“Magic Mike” is rated R for sexuality and some violence.



About the Author

Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
Tristan Hinderliter is a full-time Public Affairs Officer and part-time pop culture critic. When he's not listening to the Adam Carolla Podcast, he's usually watching movies. His favorite directors include David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Alexander Payne.


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Luke Air Force Base held a ceremony to honor America’s prisoners of war and missing in action Sept. 19. There are 83,189 personnel still unaccounted for from conflicts dating back to WWII, according to the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office. These numbers represent countless American families who grieve because they do not...
 
 

Dollars and Sense

The Defense Department, like all federal agencies, will start fiscal 2015 (beginning Oct. 1) without approval of the National Defense Authorization Act or the Defense Appropriations Bill. Both legislative bills are required to be passed by Congress and signed by the president in order for the DOD to operate. In lieu of a defense act...
 
 

Shoplifting increases cost military community

There are approximately 27 million shoplifters in America, accounting for more than $35 million a day in losses, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. This fact is not lost on retailers including the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. While it may not be evident to the naked eye, the Luke Air Force...
 

 

You are what you eat

“You are what you eat.” This is a generic statement or a notion. It implies that if you eat healthy, you will be healthy. But how true is this in the world today? What we eat, drink, wear, drive and buy is often an attempt to construct a social identity. It lets others know who...
 
 

Knowledge equals power

The phrase “knowledge is power” is said to originate from Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Personally, I remember learning the phrase from the old television show “School House Rock” theme song. The key idea behind the phrase is the more knowledge you accumulate, the more “power” you will have. Here is a simple breakdown: knowledge...
 
 

Dollars and Sense

Planning for retirement is like taking a promotion test. Early preparation can improve success, and a strong test score opens doors for your future. It’s never too soon to think about test studying, and it’s never too early to think about retirement savings. Small decisions made in one’s 20s can make huge differences in life...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin