Stuart Heritage 

Magic Mike seeks to uncover the naked truth about stripper movies

Stuart Heritage: You might think Showgirls and Striptease gave you the full monty on baring all, but Steven Soderbergh has other ideas
  
  

Only a fool would make a stripper movie these days. Only someone labouring under extreme hubris could think they could top the mighty mid-90s double-combo of Showgirls and Striptease. Those two films told you everything you need to know about being a stripper: that the industry is grimy, that it's an easy metaphor for Hollywood, that putting ice cubes on your nipples makes them hard and that, despite Demi Moore's repeated efforts, Annie Lennox songs will never make a suitable soundtrack for nudity. Surely that's everything.

But it looks like Steven Soderbergh might be that fool. As part of his final rush towards directorial retirement, Soderbergh has made his own stripper movie, called Magic Mike. But what can Magic Mike teach us that Showgirls and Striptease couldn't? Let's pick through the trailer to find out.

1) We meet Magic Mike at the very start of the trailer. By the look of it, Magic Mike is a policeman. Here he is arresting a stripper, for instance. Maybe he's called Magic Mike because he's so good at arresting strippers.

2) Oh, wait, Magic Mike IS a stripper. He was only pretending to be a policeman as part of an elaborate ruse to worry that girl, who probably wasn't even a stripper herself. So the Magic Mike trailer has already taught us two new things about strippers: 1) strippers are masters of disguise; and 2) men can be strippers too. Who knew?

3) Here's Magic Mike showing off all the money he's earned by being a stripper. He's wearing glasses and a suit, which suggests that, deep down, he has a sound mind for business. Unless this is all another ruse, and he's about to hop up onto the table and push his crotch into someone's face. I don't even know any more.

4) The Magic Mike trailer also teaches us that different strippers have different niches. Here's Matthew McConaughey, for example. His niche is the rom-com strip where, for a fee, he can undress while cynically ripping off the plot of When Harry Met Sally as many times as possible.

5) And now we're back to Magic Mike, whose niche, as we can see, is stripping while coming as close as he can to receiving a breach of copyright infringement lawsuit from Mark Wahlberg circa 1991.

6) However, Magic Mike is just a man, and he longs for more than just stripping. He wants to find a girl to settle down with, and it looks as if Cody Horn might be that girl.

7) Magic Mike also reminds us that strippers often want to move away from stripping to set up legitimate non-stripping businesses of their own. As you can see here, Magic Mike has always wanted to make and sell the ugliest coffee tables anyone has ever made in all the world.

8) But all of Magic Mike's plans begin to fall into disarray when Horn expresses a dislike for all his stripping. Could this spell the end of their burgeoning relationship? Finally, some juicy conflict. It should be interesting to see how this plays out.

9) Oh. It plays out really quickly. In the very next shot, Magic Mike and Horn are perfectly happy with each other again. Maybe Magic Mike has decided to leave the stripping game for good to start up that awful coffee table business with her.

10) The trailer ends with Magic Mike definitively choosing Horn over stripping, because personal happiness is always more important than money. He still won't put a top on, though, will he? Silly Magic Mike.

 

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