Review: ‘Magic Mike’ is Typical, Soderbergh Excellence Without Heart

Steven Soderbergh has never been a director who wanted to label himself nor is he a fan of working in familiar territory. Take Magic Mike, his latest out-of-left-field effort, for instance. Set in the chest-waxed, light-flashing, dollar-bill-raining world of male strippers, it’s about as far as one can get from some of Soderbergh’s “one for me” indies. As with all of his films, though, Magic Mike is made with an effortless quality and a lived-in honesty very few directors can muster. Soderbergh does it regularly, but, as we’ve seen before, there’s a lack of emotion to Magic Mike that keeps it and, once again, Soderbergh from achieving something truly great. Channing Tatum, golden boy of 2012 as he is, plays the Mike of the film’s title, a real success in the Tampa-area stripper scene. He spends his nights on stage, his days sleeping it off or working the odd, construction job, …

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