It's no great stretch to imagine the chiseled, hot-footed hottie Channing Tatum as a stripper. It's how he got his start in show business, after all.
And even though he never danced for his dollars, Matthew McConaughey has never been shy about shedding a shirt on the big screen.
But that's the simple genius of Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," a fictionalized spin on Tatum's pre-Hollywood years in Florida. The casting does most of the work in this very entertaining dramedy set in the<B> </B>world of male exotic dancers.
From the moment McConaughey, as the veteran owner of the Xquisite Dance Revue, struts onstage to introduce his ensemble we know we're in good, um, hands. Soderbergh's direction here is like stripping itself - the selling of a fantasy, a tease. It's only as the film progresses that the sobering reality of living in this sordid world is stripped bare.
Tatum has the title role. By day, he's a hustler - working as an off-the-books roofer, running a mobile car-detailing business, living in a beachfront split-level.