If there ever was a Girls Night Out movie, Magic Mike is it. When I saw it with a group of friends and co-workers Friday night, it was obvious that everyone else in that movie theater had the same idea. A movie about male strippers promised lots of candy without all the sweaty oiliness that comes with the real thing.
The story is simple, Mike (Channing Tatum) works several jobs in hopes of saving up enough to start his custom furniture business. One day on his construction job, he meets The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) and introduces him to the world of male exotic dancing. On Mike's crew are club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) and the guys: Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), Ken (Matt Bomer), Tito (Adam Rodriguez) and Tarzan (Kevin Nash). Yet, Mike is 30-years old and wonders how much longer he can live this life - something The Kid's overprotective (and annoying) older sister Brooke (Cody Horn) constantly reminds him.
When the focus is on the dancing, Magic Mike is magic. Frankly, I was never much of a Channing Tatum fan ... until now. Not only does he have some movies but he actually got to do some acting here and he was actually okay. However, between dance numbers, the movie got a little heavy at times. There was a point where The Kid takes a very unexpected turn that came out of nowhere. I see why they needed something like it to further the plot but the way it was executed left a lot of questions since it seemed to come out of left field.
Of the two women in Mike's life, The Kid's sister Brooke and Mike's hook-up friend Joanna (Olivia Munn), Munn had the better role. Her character, her character arc and her acting were far superior to Cody Horn who seemed to just pout and be annoyed through the entire film. She, for me, was the weakest link in the movie.
As I watched the credits, I noticed this was directed by Steven Soderbergh. I wish he had gone more of the Ocean's 11 route and made it more fun without the serious side. The women in the audience wanted a fun and frivilous Girls Night Out, when Soderbergh gave that to us, the movie succeeded wildly. When he tried to go all dramatic, the results were uneven and disappoiniting.