I just watched Snowpiercer and Magic Mike, back-to-back. The latter was a good relief for the former, so while their wrappings are totally different, they were a good double feature.
What was most interesting about watching these particular films together was that they’re married by their basic plots. Read enough books or watch enough movies and you’ll eventually see the same plots crop up. In the case of Snowpiercer and Magic Mike, it was a group of impoverished revolt and two men are bedazzled by an enchanting lifestyle. However, boil the plots down further and they equal the same thing: Snowpiercer and Magic Mike are both films that follow a man’s transformation within a cycle. Chris Evans’ character goes from a self-serving revolutionary to the hero he always wanted to be in Snowpiercer and Channing Tatum’s titular Magic Mike goes from man-child stuck in a rut to a man with a world of opportunity ahead. Both plots inserted their heroes in an unending cycle and both had their leading men break the cycle in order to come to a satisfying ending.
I can only think of Brian McDonald’s wonderful books, Invisible Ink and The Golden Theme. Both are shorties on screenwriting that hit upon universal truths in good, solid writing. Both Snowpiercer and Magic Mike adhered perfectly to those rules by focusing on characters built from a specific theme that was concluded by the end of the film. What the story was about: a train with the last of humanity onboard or a stripper that takes a new kid under his wing, were window dressing on the story’s true plot (the A to B of a human being changing for the better).
Watching these films and seeing the same plot rehatched in different genres and styles was incredibly enlightening and only made it clear that it doesn’t really matter what the semantics of your story are. Set it wherever you want with whomever you want, but make sure the core of it is figured out.
And since this is specifically pinned on Magic Mike, all I can say is that I didn’t see nearly enough schlongs. C-. Good-bye, folks.