It wasn’t magic… a belated review of Magic Mike…

A month ago I went off on a little rant about a male reviewer who slammed Magic Mike for being not only a plotless wonder, but also “gross” while he lauded Showgirls as a movie he’s seen over 60 times.

Yeah. Tolerance level of that type of double standard: ZERO!

It took a month before I finally had the time to go see the movie. We made it a girl’s night. There were five of us and it was fun. Except… Magic Mike didn’t deliver any magic.While many reviewers have complained that it had a crappy plot, or no plot, our complaint was that it tried to have too much plot.

C’mon, let’s face it, do women really want to go to that sort of movie to hear a story about an “aging” stripper who is desperately trying to start a business for himself as a custom furniture builder? Especially when said story is peppered with drug use? Note I did not say “sex”. Why? Well… there wasn’t that much of it in the movie, and what there was was lackluster at best.

Sorry, but most women who really want to see this kind of movie want the female equivalent of an action movie. Just enough of a thin plot to excuse the big action scenes and massive explosions. Or in this case – to excuse the erotic dancing scenes and gratuitous grinding.

That’s not what we got.

Oh, it started out alright – with Channing Tatum’s bare ass filling the screen followed by Matthew McConaughey doing perhaps the sexiest, funniest “rules of the house” routine I’ve ever seen. In fact, if the rest of the movie had followed suit, the entire group of us would have been very happy campers.

Sadly, it didn’t. As one of the ladies said, “It started out good, but then it got plottier.”

What followed was a disjointed attempt at a deep story (epic fail) that didn’t even resonate on a “chick flick” level. And every time the guys started to take their clothes off and get into the dancing, the scene cut away just as the moves were getting good. One particularly frustrating scene, where the female lead is watching the striptease in disgust, we’d see some dancing and the beginning of a really hot move, and the camera would switch to a shot of her disapproving face. When it went back to the dancing, the hot move had just concluded and it was back to a basic dance. This happened several times during that dance. Every time the guys would start a serious bump and grind, instead of seeing gyrating ass or thrusting pelvis, we saw her scowling.

This was the theme throughout the entire movie. Just as every woman in the theater was starting to sit up and take real notice, the scene would switch to something “serious.” You could hear the collective “aw” in the theater every time. No joke.

My other big beef – Matthew McConaughey is hot, there is no getting around that. But Dallas, his character in the movie, was so utterly annoying, so totally bizarre, that not only could you not take him seriously, you also couldn’t find him sexy once he opened his mouth. What costumer decided to put the man in a skin-tight, bright-yellow (and ickily sweat stained), too-short muscle shirt and the guy version of booty shorts? And what director decided to make what should have been a steamy hot scene of an older stripper teaching a younger one some great moves into a laughably uncomfortable moment where you wonder if the character is supposed to be creepy, or gay, or both? End result? The scene was not sexy. Period.

When talking about Dallas, one of our group summed it up, “Dude, just shut up and look hot.” Judging by the reaction of other ladies leaving the theater, they agreed.

On the good side, the guys could move (well, for what little we saw of them, that is). Channing Tatum has a cool, slightly hip-hop style that’s sexy and a little edgy and it would have been nice to see more of that. Alex Pettyfer was fun to watch, especially the transition from his uncomfortable “virgin” dance to the later bump and grind. All of the ladies agreed they would have liked to see more of Joe Mangiello, who was just flat out hot when we did see him dancing. Even McConaughey pulled out some great moves in his strip.

We’re all hoping there is a DVD version with a special feature that includes all the dance routines – as in the full routine – uncut from beginning to end. Skip the rest of the movie and just play those back-to-back, that would be magic.