‘Magic Mike’: Down to the bare bums

“What’s that? Take my pants off? Did you say you wanted me to take my pants off?”

Given that this is a Steven Soderbergh film, we were expecting that his movie about an ambitious male stripper/entrepreneur would add considerable heft to all the hip thrusts. But this is no “Boogie Nights.” It might be more appropriate to say it’s right in the middle of a spectrum in which “Boogie Nights” and “Burlesque” sit on opposing sides.

While there’s drug use and overdoses, there’s also so, so much grinding bare male bottom. The stripping sequences are at first as cringe-inducing as they are impressive — particularly Channing Tatum’s expert floor humping (really, you’ve never seen wood flooring get so much affection) and his fluid, hypnotic choreography. But the frequency of those stripping scenes is so high that we eventually felt them coming with the same sense of dread felt by a musical-hater at a performance of “Sister Act.”

Channing Tatum is the title character, Magic Mike, who in addition to dancing hopes one day to develop a custom furniture business — a bit like that hooker with a heart of gold, but he also likes to sleep around quite a lot. On a roofing job, he befriends 19-year-old college dropout Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and coincidentally draws him into Club Xquisite, where Adam eventually becomes a dancer himself. Then there’s also Adam’s sister, played by vacant-eyed, mouth-breathing Cody Horn. She underplays her lines so much that she seems partially lobotomized for most the film. Her chemistry with Tatum is obviously lacking.

Despite a thin, somewhat predictable storyline, Soderbergh adds style where the substance is lacking. Like his “Ocean’s” films, a snappy score ups the excitement level when all the wiggling isn’t doing it for you. It’s also beautifully shot. But honestly, straight men and gay women need not bother. It’s all about the booty dance.

If you go
   
“Magic Mike”
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey
Rating: R 
Grade: 2/5



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…