Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Let's get this out of the way: the first sight of Channing Tatum's bare ass graces the big screen barely a minute into the movie as he stumbles out of bed right after a ménage à trois. And yes, that's not the only bare ass you will see during the movie.
In a world where unabashed male glee has been celebrated on screen with movies like ‘Piranha 3DD’, hot gyrating men in ‘Magic Mike’ is a movie that's a long time coming. But that's not the only reason why it is a box office success.
Simply put, ‘Magic Mike’ is a good movie. It's funny, and entertaining, and dirty, and honest - everything you'd expect out of a movie about strippers, basically. It's a well-executed straightforward story, Mike, played by Channing Tatum, works hard at several jobs and saves every crumpled dollar note stuffed into this thong in order to invest in his own custom furniture business. Despite his sizable down-payment, the bank is unwilling to offer him a loan due to lack of credit.
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Tatum moulds himself into a character that the audience buys and likes from the first moment -- he captivates and charms with his irrepressible charisma and innate humour. Apparently, Tatum has contributed to the story written by Reid Carolin with his own tales of being a stripper. And he certainly contributed to the choreography because the man can move. He somehow manages to make something so otherworldly (especially in Singapore) like a male stripper, almost human. Tatum deftly depicts that beneath all that muscle, hard partying and easy sex, there is a longing for a real relationship in Mike and a thirst to make it on his own, through his furniture business. Of course, this is all forgotten when he takes off his shirt and dry humps the stage, getting the entire theatre all hot and bothered.
Unfortunately for the rest of The Cock-Rocking Kings of Tampa, they didn't quite stand much of a chance when pit against Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey, who plays the ringmaster. Alex Pettyfer, however, manages to steal some of the limelight. Pettyfer plays "The Kid" a capricious and aimless 19-year-old who brings out Mike's fraternal instincts.
Admittedly, in several instances, the movie does feel like it tries too hard to be more than what it is - a sex romp, but who's really complaining when the scene cuts to Joe Manganiello's pelvic muscles in your face? We're definitely not.