Tagline: Work all day. Work it all night.
It’s becoming increasingly clear what a breakout year Channing Tatum is having. Consider: He’s starring in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike (marking the second time they’ve hooked up this year, following the frantically fun Haywire, and continuing to make a mockery of Soderbergh’s supposed “retirement”) alongside the likes of Matthew McConaughey and it’s Tatum that TIME’s sister publication EW decided to put on its cover. Will their faith be repaid?
Tatum is indeed playing the eponymous title role and getting the cover love for one compelling reason: the movie is partially based on his own experiences as a stripper. And Mike decides to take a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and teach him how to party, pick up women, and produce the goods when it comes to making money.
Encouragingly for all involved, Magic Mike is being mentioned in the same breath as the majestic Boogie Nights – nobody is suggesting it’s as good but they’re still sharing the same rarefied air – and the reviews reflect it. “Arguably the raunchiest, funniest and most enjoyably nonjudgmental American movie about selling sex since Boogie Nights, its obvious if considerably darker precursor,” says the Hollywood Reporter. Time Out New York also runs with the Boogie Nights talk: “If Magic Mike doesn’t quite attain the hedonistic stature of twin cautionary tales Boogie Nights and the campy Showgirls, it can’t be faulted for wanting to satisfy on a deeper level.” But the AP singles out the lead for special praise: “[Tatum is] just mesmerizing: confident, creative, acrobatic and, above all, seductive. ‘Cause that’s the whole point.”