Director Steven Soderbergh's summer blockbuster was a bit different than most films touted throughout the steamy months of July and August. Magic Mike isn't another comic book remake or an action hero extravaganza, no, its protagonist is a 30 year old male stripper, "Magic Mike" (Channing Tatum), that undulates and backflips his way into the hearts of adoring women at Club Xquisite. The film is based loosely on Channing Tatum's real life when, as an 18 yr. old college dropout, he spent 8 months as a male stripper in Tampa, Florida.
The character, Adam (Alex Pettyfer), more closely resembles the young Tatum here. Adam is a 19yr. old college dropout who meets Mike Lane, a.k.a. "Magic Mike," at his construction day job. Alex follows Mike to a club one night in Ybor City (Tampa, FL) and is immediately lured into stripping by the promise of easy money, women, and sexual attention. Alex's sister, Joanna (Olivia Munn), is not so easily seduced.
There's friction between her and Mike as they argue about Alex's future (Mike has taken him under his wing as a rising star). But she soon succumbs to Mike's charms despite her brother's rapid downward spiral into the darker side of the male stripping world. Mike tries to protect Alex but is sidetracked by his own dreams of building custom furniture and his pursuit of the elusive Joanna.
Matthew McConaughey is brilliant as Dallas, Club Xquisite's owner, and own aging stripper in residence. There's plenty of fantastic dancing, pelvic thrusting, and eye popping moves here for everyone's enjoyment. But the film is also well made; the plot develops at a decent pace and the story is surprisingly earnest and well intentioned (not unlike Magic Mike himself). Tampa locals will recognize many of their regular haunts since much of the filming was done on location in Tampa and Ybor City including: The Bricks of Ybor, Sunday's Fine Dining and other locations throughout the Tampa Bay area.
For a fun and visually gripping experience check out Magic Mike. You can visit a strip club in the comfort of your own home and won't feel the least bit dirty after.