Marketing is key factor in releasing a film. Film companies need to know what they’re film is, who it’s for, and how they sell it to said audience. In most cases, films are marketed fairly well, and generally hit the right notes. Other times, a film comes off as something it’s not, and it’s quite a surprise to see the real thing. Magic Mike is one of those films, but it’s brilliant nonetheless.
Now, when this came out, every trailer and poster advertised this film as exactly what you’d expect it to be: A silly, fun romp for people to get their fill of Channing Tatum’s, um, ‘specimen’. That’s what you think a film about male strippers would be, but it’s not. No, Steven Soderbergh, the wonderful man that he is, had something a bit different in store for us.
The film is a lot darker than anyone expects. The people who go into this film expecting topless men and titillation come out a bit dismayed at the fleshed out plot that goes deeper into the dirtier side of a “filthy” profession. Some often find the film completely boring. But it’s what stops Magic Mike from being just about objectification. The marketing may have alluded to strippers and abs but it is a surprising and enthralling character study.
This film came out towards the start of the McConaissance, with him having just released Killer Joe, so it was great to see McConaughey doing something good after years of awful rom-coms. Dallas is a slimy, greedy character and he brings that to life perfectly. They all do some stuff in this film that could generally be considered embarrassing, but in the end it never feels like that at all, because they completely throw themselves in the roles and actually become the characters, taking away any unnatural feeling from said actions (Although Dallas teaching Adam how to move is still kind of uncomfortable). Finally, the actual stripping sequences in this film are fantastic. There a few scenes dedicated to it, but at other times, they use montages. The choreography is stunning, and it’s really cool that the cast actually learned how to dance instead of using doubles, because it makes it that much more entertaining knowing the effort was put in. The dances are deliriously enjoyable, and at times, hilarious too.
So it may not have struck a chord with the audience it was intended to, but Magic Mike is a hit. With its excellent direction, great script, exceptional cast and perfect blend of dark and light hearted scenes, Magic Mike is one of the best films of the last few years, and, hopefully ,Magic Mike XXL is just as good.