Movie Review: Magic Mike Is Arty, Energetic, Soft-Core

Far more prolific than before he announced he was giving up moviemaking, Steven Soderbergh has set Magic Mike, his latest parable of how capitalism transforms sex into a soulless commodity, in the world of male strippers. It’s surprisingly enjoyable. The morality play is obvious but not crushingly so, while the strip scenes are free of the usual Sex, Lies, and Videotape mixture of attraction and repulsion. Soderbergh is his own cinematographer (under the name "Peter Andrews"), and maybe because he’s a heterosexual he can shoot these male bodies without fearing his own (supposedly) unhealthy voyeuristic gaze. He lets you bask in the glow of the mens’ musculature; their tanned, toned torsos; the pleasure they take from selling their bodies by choice instead of (as with so many women) economic necessity. He can see them through the eyes of the women in the audience who scream themselves hoarse as they reach for the dancers’ crotches. For once in a Soderbergh film, the artist overpowers the pointy-headed social scientist. Read More...


Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!