• When one thinks of Steven Soderbergh’s acting collaborators over the years, undoubtedly George Clooney, Benicio Del Toro, Matt Damon and a few others come to mind and rightly so- but Channing Tatum is right there as well. Tatum worked with Soderbergh on Haywire (2011), Side Effects (2013) Logan Lucky (2017) and yes, Magic Mike (2012).
  • Tatum was one of the producers and on this had a fairly low budget, this was one of the bigger box office surprises of the year.
  • Shot and set in Tampa

In a supporting role as “Dallas”, Magic Mike catches Matthew McConaughey in the middle of his 2011-2014 “McConaissance” where he made eight (8) archiveable films in just four (4) years. Tatum even gets a subtle little “All right all right all right” in there as an in-joke.

  • McConaughey opens the film, but soon after Tatum’s Mike wakes up in his room into a sea of Soderbergh’s trademark yellow lighting glow.

Soderbergh is his own DP here (using pseudonym Peter Andrews) and his own editor (as Mary Ann Bernard).

  • Mike is a professional exotic dancer as well as a struggling entrepreneur and craftsman. Tatum’s own background supposed mirrors aspects of the story -regardless- he is clearly an incredibly talented dancer. The film’s storytelling structure smartly introduces the audience to Mike’s world through outsider Adam (Alex Pettyfer). It does follow the rise and fall arc structure of most gangster films—and that rise is pretty intoxicating with the women, money and Adam’s “Mike, I think we should be best friends.”

at the height of Adam getting sucked into the vortex of Mike’s world, Soderbergh chooses to show this cinematically by inverting the camera

  • McConaughey’s Dallas is a one note character (feels like a failure of the way his character is written more than McConaughey’s performance)— there actually might be a little too much of him here.
  • Magic Mike is Riley Keough’s first archiveable film (she has nine and counting as of early 2022)- she has a small role as Alex’s girlfriend Nora.

Soderbergh is Fincher without the perfectionism- everything is dipped in his signature look- fantastic exteriors, the sandbar party and water look unlike any other director’s work- really striking.

  • It may have been because of the limited budget, but the music and soundtrack here is one missed opportunity after another.
  • Recommend but ultimately not in the top 10 of 2012.