"Magic Mike" is the story of the last three months of a headlining male stripper's career in Tampa, Florida before he retires his g-string to build custom furniture full-time. The titular "Magic Mike" (Channing Tatum) considers himself "an entrepreneur" who strips in addition to working construction gigs, running a mobile auto-detailing company out of his van, and making custom furniture from detritus that washes up on the beaches of Florida (NOTE: the film is actually based on Channing Tatum's own real life, where he was a male stripper for a few years in Florida before giving it up to become an actor). Mike's 30 and growing tired of the daily (bump and) grind of wearing so many hats (or no hat, or clothes at all, on stage). The movie picks up at the beginning of summer with Mike meeting Adam (Alex Pettyfer), whom Mike quickly turns into a stripper himself. The film follows Adam being sucked into the stripper world of booze, drugs, and women as Mike maneuvers himself out...with Adam ending up as the new "Magic Mike" and Mike trying to settle down and have a normal life.
Adam answered a Craigslist ad for a roof tiler, making $10 an hour under the table to become part of a work crew supervised by Mike. Adam gets fired his first day of work after his boss accuses him of drinking more than one Pepsi from the cooler and Adam gets into an argument with the boss over it. His bad luck continues as his car won't start and Mike gives him a lift home. Adam is 19 and a college drop-out who lives with his sister Brooke (Cody Horn) after he was forced to leave school because he got into a fight with his football coach on the first day of practice (and lost his football scholarship as a result). Brooke is a nurse technician at a hospital and dates a guy who works at an insurance company. She tries getting her brother various jobs through friends she knows but Adam refuses to wear a tie to work so it limits his career options. He says he kind of wants to be a video game tester, maybe, and that's the extent of his plans for his life.
The day after he's fired from the construction gig, Adam goes to dinner with Brooke and her boyfriend, but leaves midway through because he's bored from all the insurance talk. Outside the restaurant, Adam spots Mike working the crowd lined up to go into some bar. Dressed in a grubby red hoodie and saggy jeans, Adam doesn't fit in with the partiers headed inside but Mike knows the doorman and they get in despite the strict dress code. A girl celebrating her birthday with an "I'm Finally 21!" sash over her dress spots Adam and is immediately attracted to him. Mike sets it up so they talk, which gives Mike an opening to come over and recruit the girl and her friends to go to another club in 45 minutes where Mike will be stripping in a show called XQuisite, a male revue.
This is when Adam realizes Mike is a stripper and is shocked at first, but wants to tag along because Mike promised him $100 if he'd help recruit girls for the show and also help out backstage since the guy who normally does props is not there. Really, Mike intends the whole time for Adam to become a stripper too...but this is how Mike gets him into it, like a frog sitting in slowly boiling water that doesn't realize what's happening until it is too late. And this particular frog will be naked in front of a roomful of strangers soon but doesn't know it yet.
Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) is the owner of the club; he's a semi-retired male stripper himself who is the shirtless MC of the show. Part of his schtick is to tell the women what they can't touch during the show, saying it's against the law for the women to grab the guy's genitals and other parts...then noting that he thinks he sees a lot of lawbreakers in the audience without any law enforcement around, so it's kind of anything goes. The club has giant statues of naked Greek gods and cheesy columns, with mirrors and the big central stage you'd expect in a strip club. Mike introduces Adam to Dallas and Dallas agrees to let Adam work there for the night to see how it goes, if Adam will clean the toilets and do anything else that's needed in the back. Really, Dallas knows what Mike's up to and realizes that Adam will be stripping there soon too. The only one who doesn't know this is Adam.
Adam meets Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias), the club's DJ, who is also a drug dealer (important later). He's then introduced to the rest of the male strippers in the show: Tarzan, an older and very gruff grizzled stripper with long hair (Kevin Nash); Tito (Adam Rodriguez), a young Latino stripper who gets no storyline; Ken (Matt Bomer), a stripper who is very into Zen philosophy and positive energy who also likes to share his wife with other guys; and "Big Dick Ritchie" (Joe Manganiello) who has an enormous penis that's shown once full frontal as it's being pumped up in a vacuum tube before a show (and shown once again during the show in silhouette drooping an easy foot in front of him, to the amazement of the women in the audience). Backstage, the strippers all do pushups or arm curls waiting for the show to start. Tarzan hazes Adam by telling him that he needs to put lotion on Tarzan's feet as part of his job, but he's just messing with Adam. The guys are all very nice and very welcoming and know that Adam's in for a surprise that night. To get warmed up for the show, the guys do a capful of "G," a clear liquid drug that Tobias supplies (which is probably GHB, the date rape drug that loosens inhibitions). The guys claim that the drug gives all the effects of alcohol without the calories or hangover. Tarzan takes a giant swig of the stuff instead of the little cap-full shot.
The show starts with one group number (set to "It's Raining Men," with the guys in trench coats holding umbrellas) and then it's time for each guy to do a solo number in costume, followed by "the hot seat" where the guys bring chairs onto the stage and have women come up for lap dances (which is where they earn all their money). Every male stripper costume you would expect is shown at some point in the film: Navy officer (very popular since there's a lot of military wives in Florida), fireman, doctor, Ken's "Living Doll" costume (where he walks out of a plastic box like a Barbie doll), and Mike's hip-hop dance routines. Mike is an incredible and gymnastic dancer who flips, jumps, and spins through his sets. Tarzan, of course, swoops down on a vine and carries women off like he's in the jungle.
To get Adam on the stage for the first time, the guys claim there's a lull in the show and someone who's supposed to go on can't for some reason (it's not clear, but possibly Tarzan is sick from drinking too much of the "G"), and no one else can go on at that moment so Mike forces Adam on the stage. Tobias plays "Like A Virgin" and Adam sheepishly takes off his sweatshirt and pants, then gains courage from the cheering and hops down into the audience to lap dance for the "21 Year Old" girl from earlier in the night. This is played up for the audience as cute little Adam is "losing his stripper cherry" and doing this for the first time. Dallas is impressed with how well Adam did interacting with the girl --- but warns him never to kiss the customers like he was doing. In addition to the emotional problems it causes, he's told that's how you get herpes by kissing all these strangers. Adam gets to do the "hot seat" with the other guys and rakes in $230 for the night, with an additional payout of $50 from Dallas as his cut of the show. So, it's more money than Adam's made in quite a while and he's instantly hooked into being a male stripper. It's clear Adam also enjoys having the insta-friends that he's made with the male strippers. He is an innocent and naive lamb amongst friendly wolves.
Mike takes Adam out with the "21 Year Old" girl and her friend and the four of them end up on a bridge somewhere in the early hours of dawn. They've been drinking and doing drugs and Mike jumps off the bridge and into the water fully clothed. Adam follows him and while they are swimming he asks Mike if they can be best friends forever. Adam has a total bromance crush on Mike because Mike is the coolest guy he's ever met and Adam seems to need a big brother/father figure in his life. Mike seems to have a need to be a big brother, so he takes the kid under his wing...and nicknames Adam "The Kid". From then on out, everyone at the stripper club calls Adam "The Kid."
When Mike brings Adam home, Mike gets a scolding from Brooke for keeping her brother out all night. She has no idea they are strippers and thinks that Adam works construction with Mike. Mike flirts with Brooke about taking her to breakfast, and about her not being "a person who likes breakfast" because she won't go eat with him. This is a playful banter these two will continue going forward as they build the beginning of a relationship over the summer. Breakfast is their "thing" that they talk about when flirting.
Adam is put through stripper boot camp, where Dallas teaches him how to bump and grind in mandatory workout sessions. Mike then takes Adam shopping for g-strings, including patriotic red white and blue ones because the Fourth of July holiday events are coming. It's a whole new world for Adam, and Mike has to teach Adam how to wear thongs and other stripper gear the way an older brother normally teaches a younger brother how to play baseball or something. Later, Brooke finds a big box full of g-strings and other costume pieces in the living room while Adam is in the bathroom shaving his legs and Brooke at first thinks that Adam's gay because he is wearing these things...and she tries to tell him that she loves him whatever "his preferences." Adam corrects her and tells her that he's a male stripper now with Mike and that she should come see the show tonight. Brooke seems disappointed that Adam's not in fact gay because she could handle that, but the stripper thing throws he for a loop.
Brooke does go to XQuisite, which has shows every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Tampa. Brooke arrives just in time to see her brother dancing to "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" in assless chaps gyrating on some random woman. She's equal parts horrified and fascinated by what she sees. Mike spots her and tells her that she'll have to move because she's mistakenly in the "people who like breakfast" section, and she's someone who doesn't like breakfast. They flirt, and then it's time for Mike to take the stage. Brooke promises to watch him, and she does. He performs another amazing hip hop inspired strip routine with lots of spins and flips. Brooke leaves when Mike is down to a thong dry humping a bride-to-be on the stage. She pauses, however, to admire Mike's firm and tanned butt.
Brooke clearly likes Mike, but keeps her distance a bit -- she's not thrilled with the idea of dating a male stripper. Mike invites her for a fabulous cookout/party on a sandbar island that they all reach on Dallas' boat, which is named XQUISITE. It's a party with all male strippers and the girls they brought along, including Joanna (Olivia Munn), who is a bisexual that Mike keeps as a sex buddy (which is someone who he always calls when he wants sex at the last minute or in the middle of the night). Mike routinely has threesomes with Joanna and another woman, with the two of them not usually remembering the random third girl's name in the morning. Joanna likes Brooke and flirts with her, but Brooke is not into it. Brooke has fun on the sandbar but does not want to become a part of the stripper world and is wary of her brother doing this with his life. Mike tells Brooke that Adam is 19 and this is the time he should be having fun, enjoying his body, and having women chase after him.
Excitement is building amongst the strippers because Dallas has a scheme to move the show to Miami, where he's going to buy a 4,000 square foot beachfront building and expand the show. The strippers are all excited about the move except for Mike, who wants to leave the business. He's been saving his money for 6 years and has around $13,000 that he wants to use as a downpayment to get a small business loan to start his custom made, one of a kind, furniture business. The bank thinks he's too much of a credit risk to extend him a loan, so he keeps getting shot down. While the other strippers are planning the move to Miami, Mike is planning his retirement from stripping and the start of this new business. But, really, Mike has no idea how to start a business and is mostly kidding himself. He has the talent to make the furniture but is missing the education in business he'd need to really get this going. So the furniture thing is a pipe dream for him.
Mike and Brooke start dating, going out to a min-golf/go-carts type place and enjoying their flirting. She's still seeing the insurance guys, but is allowing Mike into her life. She's scared of anything bad happening to Adam, though....and Adam is clearly degenerating into a drug-fueled mess.
Despite the fact that Brooke made Mike promise to watch out for Adam and Mike genuinely likes having Adam around, Mike allows Adam to get washed up into the drug scene at the club. Tobias fronts Adam an entire "packet" of Ecstasy, which goes on the street for $10,000 (and Adam has a week to sell the drugs and give Tobias the $10,000...and keep whatever profit Adam can make off the pills by selling them to customers at the club). Adam immediately is in over his head. One night, Adam and Mike strip at a sorority house (under the guise of "cops here for a noise complaint") and Adam gives a girl an "E" pill and she reacts poorly to it. Her boyfriend confronts Adam and a big fight ensues when one guy hits Adam over the head with a bottle. Adam and Mike are naked save for black leather g-strings and the remnants of their cop stripper costumes. They flee the sorority house after getting a few good punches in, but Adam loses his bag with all the drugs in it.
In Mike's truck fleeing the scene, Adam realizes he's lost the bag and wants to go back but Mike won't let him. Mike thinks there were just 100 pills in the bag, which would cost $1000. Adam does not correct him, and this sets up a bad situation that comes to a boil in a few days as the drug dealers who supply to Tobias demand their money and Tobias then has to lean on Mike to get the cash out of Adam. In the meantime, Dallas is furious with Mike for not collecting the $500 they would have made from the sorority because the fight broke out before they could be paid. It's clear that a rift is forming between Dallas and Mike that will not be healed.
Not long after this, Dallas hosts a big Hurricane Party at his house (which is filled with paintings and sculptures of Dallas) where all the strippers and their dates lounge around drinking and doing drugs watching the news reports of a hurricane hitting Tampa. All of the strippers are straight, but some of the women are bisexual and date both the strippers and other girls. Ken wants Mike to have sex with his wife and encourages him to fondle his wife's breasts, which Mike does not do. It's pretty much at this party that Mike makes the final decision not to go to Miami...while the other guys are all celebrating the fact that the Miami move is indeed happening in September and the last night of shows in Tampa has been scheduled for August. Mike takes a random girl from the party home and Adam picks up a party girl of his own and they head back to Mike's place to have sex.
Adam spirals into the depths of drug abuse, while Mike does nothing to stop him. Adam tells Mike he's having the time of his life, and Mike fails to protect Adam. This leads to great friction between Mike and Brooke, especially when Adam almost ODs after sleeping with party girl Nora (played by Riley Keough, who is Elvis Presley's granddaughter in real life). After she goes looking for him because he did not come home that night, Brooke finds Adam passed out in a pool of his own vomit the morning after the Hurricane Party with Nora (and Nora's pet pig Herman is on the floor eating Adam's vomit) and scrambles to get him out of Mike's house and take him back home. Brooke and Mike have a big fight and she storms away. Mike realizes again this is not the world he wants and surveys the aftermath of another night of hard partying in his house (which is trashed). He said before that he did not want to be a 36 year old stripper still doing this stuff and Brooke called him on this before leaving, telling him he was pathetic.
The situation with the missing packet of Ecstasy comes to a head when the drug dealers and Tobias break into Mike's house later that day looking for Adam. Mike ends up having to give them $10,000 from his savings to cover Adam's loss. Mike then heads over to Brooke's house to find Adam but Brooke says she kicked him out. Mike does not tell her that he paid up Adam's debt. They part ways, with Brooke saying she pretty much never wants to see Mike again.
It's August now and the final show is here. Dallas returns to stripping for the night, reliving the fun he used to have and raking in a nice amount of tips himself. It's time to do the Raining Men number, but Mike has grown disgusted and left. He just quits and decides he's danced his last dance. The other guys look for him but Adam has to tell them that Mike left and is not coming back. Dallas then promotes Adam to take Mike's place in front during the number and it's now complete that Adam is where Mike was at the beginning of the movie, embarking on his career as a new headlining stripper and heading to Miami with the other guys in Mike's place.
Meanwhile, Mike has driven to Brooke's to ask her to forgive him. She's surprised he's not dancing in the show and he tells her that he's quit that business and is going to focus on making his other dreams come true. Brooke tells him that she is finally ready to have breakfast with him, but the place she wants to go opens at 6am and they have 7 hours to kill. They flirt and Brooke suggests they fill those 7 hours of waiting with sex.
The movie ends with them hooking up and credits roll as each character gets their featured moments in the movie up on the screen as their names are all displayed in a quick ending montage.
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