Magic Mike (15)
The gloves are off – as are the shirts, trousers and thongs – in Steven Soderbergh’s cautionary tale set in a Tampa Bay male nude revue bar, where delirious women thrust dollar bills at gym-toned Adonises, including star turn Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), impressively proportioned Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello) and ingénue The Kid (Alex Pettyfer). Loosely inspired by Tatum’s brief stint as a stripper, Magic Mike boasts plentiful naked flesh and an eye-opening scene involving a hand-operated pump. Tatum threatens to melt celluloid with his crotch-thrusting dance solos as Soderbergh’s film charts The Kid’s descent into drug-fuelled oblivion. An upbeat frothy first half gives way to a plodding, ponderous second, enlivened by occasional directorial flourishes. Not so much All About Eve as All About Steve.
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift 3D (U)
Scrat’s pursuit of his beloved acorns has cataclysmic consequences for an entire continent in the latest chapter of the Ice Age series. As a result, Manny the woolly mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Diego the sabre-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) are propelled on a hare-brained, high seas adventure that pits the herd against prehistoric pirate ape Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) and his salty sea critters. Continental Drift unfolds at a brisk pace and the action sequences are packed with high-velocity splats to keep little ones giggling with glee. The familiar themes of teenage rebellion, friendship and self-sacrifice are woven gently into a script laden with heart-warming sentiment but scant originality. The ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ school of thought has been heavily applied.
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (15)
It’s the end of the world as we know it, but there’s still time for opposites to attract in Lorene Scafaria’s offbeat road movie, bringing together suicidal insurance salesman Dodge (Steve Carell) and English rose Penny (Keira Knightley) three weeks before an asteroid collides with Earth and annihilates mankind. Seeking A Friend… is a bittersweet end-of-days romance, distinguished by Carell’s moving portrayal of an office drone who doesn’t want to die alone. Knightley isn’t completely comfortable with comedy but Scafaria’s script delivers lots of laughs. A deranged sequence in an American diner is lip-smackingly hilarious, but as doomsday approaches, the writer-director cannot resist a few bows to cheesy convention.