Star Rating:

Magic Mike

Actors: Channing Tatum, Cody Horn, Matthew Boomer, Alex Pettyfer

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Genre(s): Drama

Running time: 110 minutes

A conventional story told in Steven Soderbergh's usual unconventional way; Magic Mike manages to offer insights into the world of male strippers while also being damn entertaining. The familiar feeling plot may border on cliché at points, and Pettyfer comes off as a little dense, but is still an extremely fun, engaging yarn.

Channing Tatum is the titular dong swinger, Mike. With aspirations of owning his own business, he instead makes his living stripping at a club owned by the sleazy Dallas (another great McConaughey performance). If he's not having threesomes with random women, he's partying with his offensively toned pals or working in his other job as a labourer. While at the latter, he meets Pettyfer's naive college dropout, Adam, and the two become firm pals. After Mike gets him a job at the club, Adam quickly takes to the business - a little too much - much to the dismay of his sister (the ironically named Cody Horn).

Very much Tatum's baby from inception, and based loosely on his experiences, Magic Mike is a very difficult film not to like. While the hook here for many will be the good-looking male cast, Soderbergh manages to elevate the material with some excellent helming. There's something quite loose about the film, and the Oscar winning director injects a natural, organic feel to proceedings. Considering he only had a budget of $7 million that's both a remarkable and impressive feat.

It's a large, mostly recognisable cast; with some guys whose handsome faces you'll know and probably won't be able to place (Rodriguez, Boomer) and others who have headlined their own productions (Pettyfer, McConaughey, Tatum). The 21 Jump Street star really is on a winning streak of epic proportions; while The Vow may have been as much fun as a burst condom during a one night stand, he's shown a gift for comedy in 'Street' and now managed to portray a likeable male stripper - no easy feat. It's his baby, so Tatum deserves the majority of the plaudits for pulling this film together in the surprisingly classy manner he has.

Underlines the arrival of Tatum as an A-list movie star; Magic Mike will not just appeal to the ladies. Engrossing, fun and strangely fascinating.