Choosing a singular image from Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike is the Sophie's Choice of Hit Me With Your Best Shot. So many men, so many shots in sepia. Between the sunshine and the smorgasbord of abs, what's not to love?
Here's the dilemma while re-watching Magic. The men in the film (especially Mr. Tatum and Mr. Bomer) are so, shall we say, entrancing that it's hard to actually focus on the film's qualities sometimes. There's grinding...and thrusting...and allusions to men riding things like ponies. It can all be a little much to handle, to be perfectly honest. Who is ready for that sequel?
I could have easily chosen a shot of the men on stage dancing their buns off or ripping off tearaway pants, but I refrained from doing so. My favorite shot of Magic Mike is one that stayed with me since I caught the first trailer.
In one scene, Tatum's Mike brings Alex Pettyfer's Adam to a party where they pose a cops. Soon their lame police lingo translates to nudity, and the two guys simultaneously give the screaming crowd what they want. Adam takes this opportunity to sell some ecstasy to a girl, leading to a fight between her boyfriend and Adam. Right before the physical punches are thrown, we are given one quick shot of Mike with his police hat askew on his head.
Looking at just this shot, we don't know what he's wearing below that blue cap. Mike wants to get out of the stripper game and build that ugly furniture, but is he fully ready to embrace that new lifestyle? There's something sexy about Tatum in this shot: it's sloppy and almost youthful. He's on the cusp of graduating from stripper school and becoming a man. Maybe he should just get out while he's at the top of his game.