Olivia Munn Outshines Magic Mike‘s Actual Romantic Lead Cody Horn

Olivia Munn Magic Mike Cody Horn Channing Tatum

It should come as no surprise that the men of Magic Mike are just superb. Perfect casting and a top-notch script have Channing Tatum deftly moving between flirtatious charmer, seriously talented dancer, and motivated businessman with a dream. You can’t really say that the role of “Magic Mike” is made for him, however, since he advised on the script based on his past experiences. However, feel free to throw that accolade at Matthew McConaughey with his smoothtalking, seasoned club owner Dallas. It’s ridiculous how much the bondage-gear costumes and cold-blooded business sense — not to mention a stunning performance in the third act — fit him.

Again, the casting folks delivered men who were game to explore this commentary on male objectification, and director Steven Soderbergh coaxed winning performances out of them. But what about the women? This is trickier, since the film’s emotional heft rests on these male friendships and the women’s impact is more tangential. There’s also only two main ladies, Olivia Munn and Cody Horn, who wind up being two sides of the same coin when it comes to Mike’s love life.

The impression I always got from Olivia Munn’s character Joanna is that she’s meant to be sort of a throwaway. We meet her (and her breasts) in the first scene, and she and Mike have an easy rapport, but they’re also incredibly casual: She’s a sexually adventurous grad student who calls him up to orchestrate the occasional threesome. It’s fascinating to see, as the stripper lifestyle begins to wear on Mike, him grow increasingly dependent on Joanna. But her emotional stake is always clear.

I was skeptical when Olivia was first cast, believing that her role was yet another permutation of her “hot but low-key girl hanging with the boys” niche. Considering that we meet Cody Horn’s character Brooke — older sister of The Kid (Alex Pettyfer), who clearly has her shit together — soon after, it seems clear that Brooke is going to eclipse Joanna. But as Magic Mike progressed, I found myself much more invested in Joanna’s character.

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    • tvcon

      I”m sorry you’re not going to convince me that Olivia Munn can act because I’ve seen her in enough things that I know she can’t act for crap. Same emotions and the same damn monotone voice.

    • Awalker

      Great article. Huge Olivia Munn fan. So glad you recognized her for her performance in the movie.

    • Curt444

      Just saw the movie, tragic attempt from Cody Horn! Completely disappointed by her performance!!! Olivia Munn would have been a much better co-star!!!

      • Natalie Zutter

        Curt, are you talking about the scene where she finds The Kid passed out and completely breaks down? I feel bad making fun, but when she did the “my bruh-uh-uhther” sobbing thing I just started snickering.

    • SSDub

      I agreed…Cody Horn did nothing for the part at all.

    • courtney

      I feel Cody Horn did nothing for the movie she really not that attractive her laugh was very annoying and shes just there you needed someone that could have really connected with Mikes character

      • angela

        soooo true

    • angela

      loved the film…. but this girl CANNOT ACT…. she ruined it for me

    • angela

      iam talking about cody horn she soooooo badddddddddd

    • TNT

      Cody Horn was so bad it distracted from the movie entirely. I couldn’t wait for the camera to get off her mug. Olivia Munn was a little more interesting.