Magic Mike (2012)

Rated R. Our ratings: V -3; L -27 S/N -8. Running time: 1 hour 50 min.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against
all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their
wickedness suppress the truth.
Romans 1:18-23

The acts at the Xquisite Club attract a
strictly female audience.

2012 Warner Brothers

Director Steven Soderbergh’s tale focusing on male strippers is not for your average church group, though I sup pose a group of young adults could find plenty to discuss concerning sex and women and the impossibility of keeping one’s private life unsoiled by one’s occupation when the latter is less than wholesome. Guys go to burlesque and pole-dancing clubs to ogle at the scantily clad girls, and women flock to Tampa’s Xquisite Club to laugh and cheer as the hulky guys strip to their skimpy underwear and g-strings. Allowing women to stuff ten and twenty dollar bills around your genitalia does little for one’s sense of dignity and worth, which might be director Steven Solderberg’s point.

Mike (Channing Tatum) aspires to start his own company designing unique furniture from found objects, but to obtain the cash he works daytime for a roofing company and nighttime as the star stripper at the club owned by Dallas (Matthew McConaughey). The latter had discovered Mike, and Mike now befriends a shy fellow worker, 19 year-old Adam, and soon is pushing him onto the stage of the club. Too shy and inept to perform well, he still makes a hit with the girls, for those very reasons. Meanwhile Mike is attracted to Adam’s protective older siste Brooke (Cody Horn)., but the feeling is not mutual.

How all this works out makes for some intriguing viewing that often might be hard to take due to the degrading gyrations and screaming females stuffing paper money into the performers’ underwear. But then maybe this helps make up for the multitude of films showing women pole dancers and strippers doing the same thing. Nevertheless Soderbergh finds the human core of the characters, with Mike dream and working to rise above his present station.