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Film / Magic Mike

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Male objectification: The Movie

Magic Mike is a 2012 drama-comedy film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum, based on his year working as a male stripper. It completely objectifies the male body as a sex object, which certainly makes a nice change. Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Olivia Munn, Matthew McConaughey and Riley Keough also star in this movie.

A sequel, Magic Mike XXL, was released on July 1, 2015, with most of the cast reprising their roles. The film adds newcomers Amber Heard, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Donald Glover to the cast; Gregory Jacobs, a producer on the first film, handled directing duties. A third film, Magic Mike's Last Dance, was later announced for a 2022 release on HBO Max, this time with Soderbergh returning to the director's chair. The franchise also received a Reality TV adaptation, Finding Magic Mike, also on HBO Max.


Compare Hustlers, a genderflipped Distaff Counterpart version of the movie that's also based on the real life story of strip club employees. See The Full Monty which is similar to Magic Mike but set in northern England and mixed with Flashdance.

Magic Tropes:

  • Affably Evil: Dallas. 'Evil' is probably too strong a term, but reading between the lines over the film makes it pretty clear that his so-called boys are just props and meat to make money for him, and whatever caring he has comes second to his financial concerns (Affably Greedy?). Case in point: basically telling Mike he's trapped in the male stripping business and instantly replacing him with Adam when he does leave at the end.
  • Alliterative Title: Magic Mike.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Mike rattles off a list of what he really wants out life, trying to explain to Brooke that he doesn't want to be a stripper forever, he asks if she believes any of it. Her response is to ask if he believes it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ascended Extra: The other male strippers Ken, Big Dick Richie and Tarzan have bigger roles in the sequel.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Mike looks pretty hot in a Marilyn Monroe white dress and wig.
  • Based on a True Story: Mike's character is partially based off of Channing Tatum's life experience in stripping.
  • Big Prick, Big Problems: In the sequel, the character arc of "Big Dick Ritchie" revolves around the fact he can't find a woman who can handle his, well, big dick. He laments that as a result of his huge penis, he hasn't had actual sex in months. The culmination of his arc is meeting a MILF who can handle said big dick.
  • Binge Montage: Adam and Mike star in one.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Mike loses most of his savings bailing Adam out of trouble, but finally realizes that he has to get out of stripping and after quitting he has a good shot at a lasting romantic relationship with Brooke. Similarly, Adam benefits from Mike's exit and the club's move to Miami but may end up exactly in Mike's situation.
  • Camp Straight: Mike is clearly into women, but he's also a stripper, very affectionate with his male friends and has crossdresses as a joke. Channing Tatum says that this is the character closest to his real life personality.
  • Character Title: Named after Channing Tatum's character, obviously.
  • Chippendales Dancers: But of course.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: To be specific, there's over 150 uses of the word, and since the stripping scenes have little to no dialogue, there are some scenes with a lot of them crammed in there, along with some other words. The entire construction scene near the beginning is a good example.
  • Color Wash: All the outdoor scenes are really orange, both to sell the Florida setting and make a stronger contrast with the dark, neon-lit nightclub and strip club scenes.
  • Decoy Protagonist: With almost the same screen time as Tatum (Mike), Pettyfer's character Adam seems like the central character, but later on the movie does a good job of slowly focusing on Mike.
  • Denser and Wackier: Overlapping with Lighter and Softer (sort of), the first film is a cynical Slice of Life with a few light-hearted moments while the second is more of an out and out comedy with a lot more Fanservice.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Adam and his girlfriend overdose and lose Mike's savings.
  • Ethical Slut: Joanna is bisexual and Mike doesn't have a problem with her seeing people on the side. He is however rather dismayed when he discovers she has a fiancee.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Both the roofing work and the stripping are this for Adam.
  • Fanservice: Besides the obvious, there's plenty of eye candy from the female characters. Brooke walks around Florida wearing short skirts and hot pants, and there's an extended scene of her walking around the beach in a bikini. Ken's wife allows Adam to feel her boobs, and the camera is all to happy to oblige. And of course Olivia Munn is topless in the film's opening.
  • Female Gaze: THE WHOLE MOVIE! Especially the bonus feature that compiles all the stripping scenes and skips the boring plot parts.
  • Funny Background Event: So much of it in this movie, like when Big Dick Richie was pumping his penis nonchalantly.
  • Gag Penis: Can't get any more obvious when the character is named "Big Dick Richie".
  • Going Commando: Joanna's Establishing Character Moment is her telling Mike she'll have to go commando because he ripped her panties the previous night.
  • Hospital Hottie: Mike mistakes Brooke for this when he sees her in her scrubs. She's not a nurse but a billing clerk.
  • Karma Houdini: Adam. He loses a ton of ecstasy, causing Mike to have to spend his savings to protect him from serious harm. He doesn't see any repercussions from it. Although, he doesn't appear to learn much from the experience, and Mike probably won't be around to bail him out next time, so it may be subverted.
  • Lady Killer In Love: Mike decides to change his ways.
  • Latin Lover: Tito of the stripping crew evokes this in his routine.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Mike first meets Brooke in the morning, he mentions something about breakfast. She takes offence at the thought of him assuming she's cooking - and he changes tack to say he just likes breakfast in general. The end scene has her asking him out for breakfast.
  • Meta Casting: Michael "Magic Mike" Lane is played by Channing Tatum, who worked as a male stripper in Florida just like his character.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Brooke seems to assume that Adam is gay after first seeing his box of stripper outfits and seeing him shave his legs.
  • My Girl Is a Slut:
    • Played with on the other gender side. Brooke's problem with Mike being a stripper seems like it's more about the fact that he and Adam are always out drinking late and the sleaziness of the club.
    • Ken however offers to let Adam feel his wife's boobs.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Seemingly averted- Adam asks Mike if he's interested in Brooke and teases him about it but doesn't seem to care either way if Mike's interested in her romantically.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers made the movie look more like a Romantic Comedy with a lot of stripping. There is plenty of Fanservice in there, but the film quickly turns into a cynical look at how empty Mike's life is - and how he struggles to escape from it.
  • The Obstructive Love Interest: Brooke fits this trope perfectly. She spends most of the movie disapproving of Mike's lifestyle and trading barbs with him about it. Only at the end of the film when Mike has quit stripping do they hook up. Of course unlike most examples of the trope, she at least has the justification of already having a boyfriend for the majority of the story.
  • Offscreen Breakup: Mike and Brooke end up with each other in the first movie but in the sequel, Mike is single again.
  • Only in Florida: The movie takes place in Florida.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Erm, Big Dick Richie. Adam is also known as 'The Kid'.
  • Passing the Torch: Mike to Adam, though mostly inadvertently.
  • Plot Device: A chunk of the plot revolves around Adam's actions but compared to the others, he doesn't go through much character development.
  • Put on a Bus: In the sequel, Dallas has gone off to Macau and taken Adam with him, so they don't appear. This is apparently due to Matthew McConaughey becoming a lot more expensive since his Oscar win, and Alex Pettyfer not getting along with the cast during the first film.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Mike, particularly when speaking quickly, stumbles and stutters out dialogue.
  • Romantic False Lead: Paul for Brooke.
  • Scenery Porn: During Mike's drive to work early in the film, it shows off some of the Miami sights.
  • Sexy Whatever Outfit: Lots and lots of it, everything from Tarzan to military men.
  • Shirtless Scene: It's a film about male strippers so there are plenty of scenes that show them shirtless.
  • Slice of Life: Surprisingly enough, the movie just examines the life of a few male strippers in Florida. There's not much of a plot, and the film is driven by Adam's introduction to the lifestyle.
  • Spear Counterpart: The Players Club has striking similarities in storyline, character archetypes, and ending (for the main characters at least). And it was very much tongue in cheek.
  • Tag Along Kid: Adam is the youngest out of the group, and is even nicknamed 'The Kid'.
  • Three-Way Sex: In the beginning of the movie, Mike and Joanna have just had a three-way with a woman that they apparently don't know. Joanna also approaches Mike about inviting Brooke for one.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The film is inspired by Channing Tatum's real life experience as a male stripper in Miami when he was just eighteen years old and the character of Adam was inspired by it however everything else about the film was fiction.
  • Visual Pun: One of Ken's gimmicks on stage is coming out of a lifesize box as if he were a Ken doll.
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: Mike shows up overdressed to his bank appointment. His suit, along with his fake-looking wire-rimmed glasses, looks more like a costume than a real outfit, just as much as his stripper uniforms.
  • Warm Place, Warm Lighting: The film, set in Tampa, FL, uses a bright warm yellow for the outdoor, daytime scenes. By contrast, nighttime club scenes are darker and neutral-to-purple.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The name of the strip joint is Xquisite.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: It's a movie about male strippers. What do you expect?