It started with 21 Jump Street, a film that initially appealed in no way, but whose reputation began to precede it. Hearing again and again of quality, I was inspired to rent it, and upon doing so was shocked—like a bomb detonating my preconceived notions. Not only is it a film that has no reason (like honestly, no reason) to be as good and funny as it is, but the abilities presented by a certain Mr. Tatum are top notch. Not at all playing second fiddle to Mr. Hill, the project succeeds by a true charisma and comic ability I would never have dreamed available just a few years ago.
From here turns Magic Mike, another film of seriously no intrigue. Even with Mr. Soderbergh behind its making, I just didn’t care. But I kept hearing about it, and hearing about it, and hearing about it. Despite its content, which many spoke around to address its presence as an actually good film, the narrative really works as a narrative—surprise never absent and constantly in need of reinforcement via conversation.
Again a quality film with no reason to be as good as it is, Tatum’s handling of authorship only adding to the slow building mystique. Despite the collaborative nature of production and the skills exhibited in Matthew McConaughey’s recent rebirth as an amazing actor, skills previously present in rare to slim moments, the film is Tatum’s story. He lived it and inspired it. And now it seems he is sequelizing it via directorship (we will see how this goes).
But, I digress.
Last, but certainly not least, we get to Side Effects. Now, before I go any further let me stress a point: This final move has little to do with his performance, which is good, and all to do with his presence. In renting Side Effects, I came upon the typical moment explaining to my wife what was rented and why. This usually amounts to a description of the film with a highlight of the players which may or may not matter to her. In this instance, I said Channing Tatum was in it and we both got excited about said fact.
This is the moment. The time when I realized that we had walked into a parallel universe because the one where we both got excited about Channing Tatum being in a film was not the one we knew. At this time I shall apologize for this last sentence because I truly have become a fan of Channing Tatum and believe he is worth more than this sentence, but I also do feel weird about it all.
It just wasn’t supposed to be. The guy from Step Up was never to be on either of our radars. But now, even though a lot of the films he is in still carry no interest, they are more interesting because he is in them. Like all the directors and actors I follow because they represent a certain quality that naturally, and obviously, attracts, Tatum has become a moniker of something that appeals, but I’m not really certain what it is and I’m insecure that it has happened at all.
Now, we own 21 Jump Street and have watched it more times than I remember. We do not own Magic Mike or Side Effects, but it’s because we are picky and have a lot of resources for rental so it’s not until we find ourselves either renting or wanting to rent repeatedly that a purchase may be made. A return to previous work is somewhat underway, though that previous work has to fit in a very fine line of consideration. I’m unsure about all this. It’s not the future I assumed for myself in viewership. But here it is. Here I am. A fan of Channing Tatum, and feeling weird about it.