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Review: Magic Mike Brings It On

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Compassion for a male sex symbol. Steve Soderbergh delivers this to Magic Mike,, which is partially the story of Channing Tatum. Yes, it is predictable and yes, it is enjoyable. How refreshing to see men disrobe in a movie instead of women. Oh, there are a few semi-naked women, but Magic Mike celebrates the male anatomy. It's a good story and a true story. It addresses the feelings of a male stripper with a body that rivals Adonis. Matthew McConaughey plays Dallas, the owner and lead stripper of the Club Xquisite, but this film belongs to Channing Tatum.

Who listens to sex symbols? People love to look at them, then dismiss them for being empty vessels, vacuous, shallow -- all qualities attributed to beautiful supermodels. Rarely is compassion given to movie-star-handsome men.

How lonely it is to be looked at and not listened to.

After Mike has had sex with an intelligent psychology student, Joanna (Olivia Munn), she tells him, "You ask a lot of questions. You don't need to talk. Just look pretty." After a pause she says, "Look, I'm going to go. I'll give you a call." While her words are patronizing, her acting is so genuine, it seems to be the natural way to relate to Mike. On a subsequent chance meeting, she is with another man at a bar whom she introduces to Mike as her fiancé.

Mike subtly shows his feelings of being dismissed as an object, rather than as a lover with intense feelings.

Written by Reid Carolin and produced by Nick Weschler, Gregory Jacobs, Reid Carolin and Channing Tatum, Magic Mike's plot is thin and revolves around Dallas's strip club where Magic Mike is the lead dancer. Mike discovers Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and takes him under his wing. Adam has a sister, Brooke (Cody Horn) who does not give Mike the attention he craves. While stripping he is idolized by his female audience, but when he tries to talk to Brooke, the conversation is awkward. He cannot manipulate her with his charms the way he does the clients of Dallas's club, Xquisite. Ecstasy becomes part of the plot, but dissolves like the pill it is.

This film is fun especially during the stripping when it was impossible to distinguish between the hoots and hollers of the actors in the film and the audience in the movie theatre. It's Raining Men is the first song to which Mike strips and it ended too soon.

Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Adam Rodgriguez are some of Magic Mike's fellow dancers and while Dallas bares more than Mike, Dallas's flagrant nudity only serves to leave this viewer wanting to see more of Mike. Sorry Matthew McConaughey, but while your acting deserves respect and you deserve credit for stripping in the same film as Channing Tatum, you ain't no Magic Mike.