But even when Tatum’s characters are dominant or self-respecting, there is rarely a wildly ugly or ugly aspect to his energy on screen. A basic decency comes through no matter what. Whether he’s playing a man who’s selfishly cunning or sweet and stupid, the character always seems like that kind of person could pull over to help someone repair a flat tire during a rainstorm instead of keeping driving ( which creates the possibility of surprise, no matter what). We may be at the point now where some enterprising director could cast Tatum as a heinous, brutal and scary villain, if nothing else for the shock value – like the way Sergio Leone cast Henry Fonda in “Once Upon a Time in the West” – or as an independent hero who was corrupted anti-hero, in the style of James Stewart’s performances for Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Mann. (Quentin Tarantino seemed like he might be willing to go there in “The Hateful Eight,” but Tatum was barely in the movie.)
Author-editor Emily Hughes summed up Tatum’s light magic charisma in musicals and comedies: “Like a golden retriever cursed by a witch.” If Tatum is actually a change of form, that would explain why he never obeyed WC Fields’ dictum “Never behave with children or animals.” He is an actor who brings overgrown children framelessness to comic roles, and has always seemed at home and playing to younger artists, even toddlers and babies who can not be said to be able to play (the retriever remembers what it was like to be puppy). And he has thrown his filmmaker’s weight behind two separate (creatively intertwined) dog projects, the 2017 documentary “War Dog” and his 2022 directorial debut “Dog” (directed in collaboration with Reid Carolin), a roadmap of a former army ranger (Tatum). ) escorts his fallen comrade’s dog to the man’s funeral.
Tatum is a subtle and intelligent screen artist who can deliver comic dialogues that are self-conscious, on the verge of “Saturday Night Live” -sketch-imprint-cutesy, without seeming precious over it. I still laugh when I think of the moment in “22 Jump Street” where he ends a fight with his on-screen detective partner, Jonah Hill, by staring at him, mentally ill and apparently on the verge of tears, saying: “I think we should investigate other people.” Much of his success in various genres comes back to what seems like a lack of self-respect, he indicates, signals, emphasizes, bold or does nothing by telling you that he gets it, no matter what “it” is No matter who he plays, or what scene the character is involved in, Tatum always looks like he’s not involved in the joke – or barely aware of it and does not leave because he fears he may not understand it. , which is as much fun as being ignorant.It can be imagined that he reads this piece and then forgets all about it on purpose because self-awareness is the last thing an actor, dancer, comedian, drama star or action hero needs.