It’s 92 degrees in New York. The air is sizzling with heat, everyone in the city is a little shiny from perspiration. And there it is – the perfect movie for the sweatfest: Magic Mike! Delicious looking men for every taste – Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer – are served like ice cream in a parlor, dressed only in a thong. This movie is made for women to objectify men, do guilt-free what usually men do. Be dirty ladies, it’s ok! the flick seems to scream at you. But is it really dirty?
Sure, the men are fantastic to look at with their chiseled and baby-oiled bodies. And when they are on stage and swing their hips the movie has its moments where females will giggle and have some fun. But if you expect to see a beautiful cock like Michael Fassbender’s in Shame or steamy sex that Ewan McGregor shows by banging Tilda Swinton on a boat in Young Adam, you will be surely disappointed. This is a PG13 version of a stripper movie. The family jewels stay out of the picture except twice: an out-of-focus penis pump in the upper left corner of the screen and the shadow of a stripper’s dick (at least it is worth mentioning because of its size).
Pettyfer said in an interview with the Daily News that he learned that there is a difference between males stripping for women and women stripping for men. “Male stripping is more of an event,” Pettyfer says. “It’s not as personal as when a man goes to a strip club and gets a lap dance.” He got it right: There is honestly nothing erotic about watching men hump other women – only laughter comes to mind. But in times like these, where women consider 50 Shades of Grey an erotic book even though it reads just like the diary of a 14-year-old-girl (“I was jumping up and down like a cheerleader with pompoms”, really?), it actually might tingle 50 shades-vagina in the audience. Maybe. And in that case – doesn’t it make more sense to go to an actual strip club in order to put a dollar into the thong and touch some men?
The fact that Steven Soderbergh directed it also seems just like a side note. Magic Mike does not show the underbelly, the decay like Paul Thomas Anderson’s wonderful Boogie Nights depicted the porn industry (which was my hope). The plot surrounding Tatum’s and Pettyfer’s characters – which is loosely based obn Tatum’s stint as a stripper in Tampa before his Hollywood career – is predictable and really not very creative. Here the boys hang backstage, joke about each other and go to the beach together. Oh, and by the way – Channing’s character just started stripping because he is saving money to become a furniture designer. This movie shows you the real life of a stripper as much as Pretty Woman depicted a real prostitute. Maybe this movie should have been called Pretty Men? At least it would have been accurate.
The man who will still give your money’s a worth is Matthew McConaughey. I guess it needs a seasoned actor to understand that this is silly premise and he goes all the way with his depiction of the club owner Dallas. The way he shakes his booty, teaches stripping (Who has the cock?? You do!!”), the way he talks in his Texan swagger is just priceless. He is a true and pleasant surprise. And his ass looks like he can crack walnuts with it. Yeehhaaww!
Congratulations Ladies, you just got emancipated. Now you have your very own Transformers movie — which men just watch to drool over Megan Fox in hot pants and see some explosions.