The magic in Magic Mike is completely lost on me. Male strippers, close to no real engaging narrative and an alarming abundance of shit acting. How did I get here again? Oh yes, that was it. Matthew bloody McConaughey. As I write this, I am listening to the Interstellar score with those Hans Zimmer organ melodies rushing to my ears, internally crying with confusion as to how the actor of the moment got from this to that. Winding back the clock can be a distressing experience but I’ll try my best to find some positives.
Channing Tatum is Magic Mike: roof tiler and aspiring entepeneur by day; stripper by night (oh, god). He takes the emotionless Adam (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing, introducing him to Tampa’s male stripper community. There really isn’t much more to say than that.
Let’s be honest – McConaughey is the linchpin, struggling but so desperately trying to hold everything together. Like the keystone of a bridge, without him, the whole structure would collapse into some crevasse without a trace. It’s as if all the ‘real’ actors had fallen ill with some rare Amazonian flesh-eating disease, leaving the crew no other choice but to replace them all with understudies. The only jewel in the mud is McConaughey, with enough energy and charisma as lead stipper, Dallas, to pull me through near to two whole hours.
The script felt like a first draft, possibly with the odd workable scene but the rest ready to be ripped up and burnt. But oh no, that was the actual script. The transitions between scenes were too clunky to go unnoticed and that god awful line still irritates me now: “I think we should be best friends.” I think not.
At the 40 minute mark – I’m surprised I got that far – the whole thing got marginally better (told you I’d try and find some positives). And though I’ve never understood Chippendale-style strippers, I have to admit, some of those sequences were vaguely (emphasis on the vaguely) entertaining – from behind a screen, mind. Maybe it was my own laughter that was entertaining for me, laughter at the ridiculousness of it all and the fact that my Interstellar-induced McConaughey craving had brought me to this mess. Damn my weak heart.
I guess all that’s left to say is, don’t let the actor fool you. No matter how good they are, there’s always a shiter than shite film lurking just out of view, in the shadows of their filmography’s decent end. And you don’t want to be loitering in the dodgy end.