On paper, "Magic Mike" doesn't seem like much a melodrama about the seedy world of male strippers that's got a little "A Star Is Born" and a little "All About Eve" as a story foundation.
That's on paper. In practice, thanks to the sex-saturated atmosphere created by director Steven Soderbergh and a ruggedly authentic lead performance by Channing Tatum, "Magic Mike" shimmers with the allure of its domain. It's a movie that buys into the fantasy of the stripper world, even while deconstructing that world one pelvic thrust at a time.
Tatum plays the title character, who works Tampa construction jobs by day and stars in a male dance revue by night. It's the dancing that makes Mike the real money, not to mention the women whom he often shares with his tag-team sex pal Joanna (Olivia Munn). But Mike has a dream to turn all that thong-stuffing cash into some real money with a custom-furniture business, if he can get a stake in a bigger strip club his boss Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) has long planned to open in Miami.