Last night I finally had a chance to watch Steven Soderbergh's stripper with a heart of gold movie, Magic Mike. As much as I wanted to like it, Magic Mike seemed to further what I have expected all along. The Steven Soderbergh we once knew is officially gone. Magic Mike is a boring, long winded, sad affair that overstays it's welcome with a cliche ridden plot loaded with bad line delivery and a Channing Tatum still waiting for a good dramatic role. I've decided to give Tatum the benefit of the doubt after his hilarious comedic performance in 21 Jump Street.
While Soderbergh's career may have come out swinging with films like Out of Sight and Traffic, it seems to have fizzled as the man no longer has a grasp on realistic character development or how to draw natural dialogue delivery from his actors. Magic Mike fails under the exact same disingenuous flaws that were the unraveling of his last couple films, Contagion and Haywire. The scenes seem unscripted, poorly edited, and altogether simplistic for a director of this caliber.
Reminiscent of films like Boogie Nights or other sex industry movies, Magic Mike could have been a return to form for the once great Soderbergh. Sadly, the successes of his past are what define his career and nothing he's made in the past ten years comes close to the greatness of Erin Brokovich, Traffic or his Ocean's Eleven remake. I believe his years spent with experimental film have drastically changed his perception of authentic characters and the way they would talk in real life.
Women, watch it for the strip club scenes. Just don't expect anything of depth. The film is further proof of Soderbergh's rapidly declining career in film. If you want to see him at his full potential, watch Traffic again.