**½/**** Image A Sound A Extras D+
starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matthew McConaughey
screenplay by Reid Carolin
directed by Steven Soderbergh
by Angelo Muredda Magic Mike opens with Saul Bass's red-and-black Warner Bros. logo, retired in 1984. That gesture is meant, I think, to pitch what follows as a throwback to smarter studio fare along the lines of Hal Ashby's Being There, but it also courts less flattering comparisons to the likes of the Police Academy movies. Steven Soderbergh's latest pop exercise falls somewhere between those two poles--a little too close for comfort to the Guttenberg side. Conceived as a loose riff on star Channing Tatum's time as a male stripper, it has a solid run as a cheerful smut delivery mechanism before hanging up its thong to become a rote ‘80s melodrama about good kids corrupted by bad drugs. If the howl of "Yes!" that greeted the first bared ass at my screening is any indication, that transformation won't hurt the bottom line (a figure these strippers always seem to have on their minds), though it does make Magic Mike another promising yet half-baked Soderbergh project instead of a good movie, sans asterisks.