Average User Score: 5.9Aug 3, 2012I'm choosing not to check the spoiler box because I won't mention specific events, but I will discuss the themes and feeling I was left with at the end of the movie, so consider yourself warned....
Magic Mike advertised as a fun movie about male strippers. It was made out to be cute, fun, sexy, with a main character that was stripping to get ahead in his actual business ventures. Some conflict in the character, Mike, falling for a girl who didn't fully approve of his career, but it was assumed that was going to be worked through as the movie progressed, and we'd have a happy feel-good ending after learning a little bit about these misunderstood hard-working normal people doing a thankless but profitable job. NO. Just no. Instead, while the character Mike was sort of relatable and empathy-inspiring, he was trapped in a world that was slowly sucking out his soul.
Channing Tatum, the proposed main character (I doubted this after only ten minutes into the movie) was sexy and entertaining. This is true. His role made me cry for its hopelessness. There was no hope for something more. No work-hard-and-be-rewarded. Instead, it was a man who stripped because he wanted a way to fulfill a dream, but was stymied at every turn. I guess it may have been appealing to realism, claiming the economy is horrible and them's the breaks, but I'm thinking I don't go to the theater to be treated to a harsh dose of dreams-never-come-true. Not to mention, Mike suffers an extreme setback during the movie as a direct result of the actions of another character: never resolved. Heck, it was barely even addressed that this huge life-goal was just dashed by one man's utter childish stupidity.
The setting, a male strip revenue, had potential to be sexy and interesting and humorous. There were elements of those included, but I found myself mostly depressed and torn between feeling ashamed and outraged at the behavior of these people. Yes, stripping may fall into the category of the sex industry. Yes, people in the industry of sins and indulgence might take things too far and fall on the wrong side of legality (not to mention morality). Here's the thing, though: its not a guarantee. The strippers, one and all, either participated in or causally accepted the pass-out alcoholism, the party drugs, partaking and supplying, and the infidelity. TLDR:Stripping doesn't have to mean awful people with awful lifestyles. It doesn't have to imply men (or women) that will never become anything more than drug-addicted sluts. Magic Mike has no uplifting story to accompany the bleak outlook on the industry, and I found myself utterly depressed after watching what I thought would be a sexy feel-good romp.… Expand