Magic Mike

Where I Watched it: HBo MAX

English Audio Description Provided By: The Media Access group

Narrated by Gale Lee Hideman

Not my first rodeo with Magic Mike. I’m certain there’s a review on here from back when I could see, which is a totally different experience. While I have spent the past few years remembering magic Mike as being mediocre at best, on the rewatch I actually found that I enjoyed it a lot more than I remembered. I decided to dive back into this franchise because i thought Magic Mike’s last Dance would have a 45 day window. I don’t know what the fuck happened with that. Now that the theatres are back, i guess we’re all getting screwed again. The difference being that last Dance was developed for HBo MAX, and then pivoted to cinematic release, so a 45 day window feels right. Just like 80 For Brady and Smile, these were films intended for streaming.

But, the only way we even got to a last dance, is because Steven soderbergh created an intriguing story in the first film. While the movie does have it’s fiar amount of male dancers baring it all, it also has a shocking amount of depth and character development. Channing Tatum’s Mike is a superstar on stage, but really wants to get his own woodworking business off the ground, and finds himself at odds in his love life when he struggles to be taken seriously.

He helps to bring Alexander Ludwig’s character onto the scene, in a character that takes all of this in to excess. Matthew McConaghey plays Dallas, the manager of the establishment, and eternal promiser of more to come. He wants to expand to Miami, and he’s half bullshit and half honest, leaving you never knowing where you stand. but Mike always believes that Dallas wouldn’t lie to him. They’re buddies, after all.

It’s just far more complicated than i rememberd, and a stronger character study than a gimmick film about male strippers. The cast all deliver strong performances, and this was the beginning of McConaghey’s renaissance. A role that he seemed so right for, that played to his strengths, and had emotional depth.

For you blind folk, there’s an actual story here. So, if you like plot and characters, the audio description does a decent job of translating that to you. It does really try to give as much detail as possible with regard to the stripping and dance sequences, but it’s hard to fully narrate the tawdry sensuality of a half naked man humping the floor for your pleasure. It’s hard to make sure to throw in the sweat running down a six pack, without the audio description treading into audio description for porn. By the way… is that a thing?

So, it gets the A for effort, because in terms of the main plot of the film, and the characters, I never really missed a beat. I never showed up in the first place to watch Channing Tatum grind a dance floor to death, so if the narration fails to bring the sexy, that’s fine with me. Some things are just a lot less of what they are intended to be when reduced to just audio description. Gore is less gory, and sex is less sexy.

Overall, I’m glad I gave this a second look.

Final Grade: B+

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