On Friday night I went with two friends to the opening night of "Magic Mike." I have been a huge Channing Tatum fan since the first second he graced the silver screen in the dance movie "Step Up."
When I read that Channing would be starring in a movie inspired by his stripper past I knew I had to see it. When I heard it was being directed by Steven Soderbergh I was even more intrigued. Soderbergh directed two of my favorite movies, "Erin Brokovich" and "Ocean's Eleven."
As we took our seats in the packed theater (the show was already sold out at 10:00am that morning) I was expecting to smile wide, blush ten shades of red and leave wanting to watch it again. Unfortunately, I was incredibly disappointed. Let me explain.
On the plus side, Channing was as delicious as ever and his dance moves are still as hot as they were in "Step Up." I would watch any movie he is in. I'd watch on mute. However, the writing in "Magic Mike" was weak and his character had a back story that was just unnecessary. The movie is about stripping, not about his secret entrepreneurial dreams to become a furniture designer.
The only other positive for "Magic Mike" was Matthew McConaughey's character Dallas. Dallas owns and runs the strip club and he is equal parts salesman and snake. He was so swarmy that at times he was hard to watch. That being said, his abs are still the best on the planet. Period.
I think I was most disappointed by the lack of dancing/stripping in the movie. I think every person that showed up to theater that night wanted an escape; they wanted a show. The movie wound up being maybe 20% performing and the rest of the time we were following this ridiculous story about Mike (Channing) and the 19 year old kid he brings into this world of stripping. Adam, the newbie, winds up majorly stabbing Mike in the back which made me even more furious. More naked Channing, less stupid sub plot!
The worst part for me was the anti-climactic romance (if you can even call it that) between Mike and Adam's sister Brooke. He chases her for the entire movie and when she finally gives in (which is in the drop dead last scene) we see a teeny, tiny kiss between them. That's it? Are you serious?
Lastly, you could feel Soderbergh's touch on this movie because the entire film felt like it was shot through the Instagram Early Bird filter. There was a slight haze on the film the entire time. He also took some interesting, angled camera shots that just seemed out of place with this low brow movie.
Ladies, I am telling you, save your pennies and skip "Magic Mike." Log on to your Netflix account, bump "Step Up" to the top of your queue and when it arrives, invite over your friends for the show you deserve.
If you want a taste of "Magic Mike," visit the movie's website and send a Chan-A-Gram instead.
*Images courtesy of Collider.com, EW.com, HollywoodReporter.com and JustJared.com.