Friedkin (director, lets not forget, of THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE EXORCIST, not to mention BOYS IN THE BAND and CRUISING which I wouldn't see), aided by scriptwriter Tracy Letts (from his play) seems to be going for a fun juicy pulp noir here, like Welles having fun with TOUCH OF EVIL.
Stunning scenes include where Joe seduces Dottie and another scene which involves fried chicken won't see an advertising tie-in with KFC. There is also some extremely graphic violence but the pulpy sheer enjoyment of it all is infectious. I see it as a pitch black comedy noir which is outrageous and provocative throughout but also lots of fun.
MAGIC MIKE on the other hand was an extreme downer. I found nothing interesting about it at all and it presents a very odd view of the world of male strippers, as looked at by heterosexual men. The men are not presented as being in any way erotic, the dancing is kept to a minimum in the film. The story is trite as directed by Steven Soderberg
|The Kid and Dallas|
|Matt lets rip|
Mike remains an amiable lunk who wants to leave stripping before he gets too old - but the tale lacks the bite and wit of AMERICAN GIGOLO or BOOGIE NIGHTS. The Kid's character has no redeeming qualities, and at the end has learned nothing from his bad behaviour ... THE END, until MAGIC MIKE 2 ?