Logan Lucky may not be as glamourous as the Ocean’s trilogy, but it is equally slick
Steven Soderbergh makes a triumphant comeback with Logan Lucky, a heist comedy that sees the acclaimed director return to filmmaking after a four-year hiatus from big screen ventures. The movie, his first directorial effort since 2013, follows the adventure of three siblings who are attempting to pull off a daring, elaborate robbery.
Things aren’t going too well for the down-on-their-luck Logan family as the film commences. Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), a Southern, blue collar construction worker who once had a promising football career that was derailed by a knee injury, is fired from his job “for liability reasons involving insurance”. His brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), a war veteran who lost his left forearm in Iraq, runs a bar. Their sister Mellie (Riley Keough), the only one of the siblings who seems to have escaped the Logan curse, works as a hairdresser.
Struggling with financial and family issues – which are exacerbated by his ex-wife Bobbie’s (Katie Holmes) decision to move with their daughter Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie) to another city – Jimmy hatches the plan to carry out a robbery during a NASCAR race by exploiting the pneumatic tube system that the race track uses for moving money. After his siblings agree to be a part of his robbing scheme, Jimmy has to recruit the convicted Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to help them get into the vault. But Joe insists that his dim-witted brothers (Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid) must also be brought in on the plan.
This motley crew of felons and would-be criminals must work together to pull off everything from a prison break to a vault breach (that uses a combination of bleach, gummy bears and a salt substitute as an explosive) to make off with their loot and evade the FBI.
Will things go according to plan? And will the Logans finally be able to turn their luck around?
The film takes you on a suspenseful and often amusing ride that delivers a few twists and turns along the way before you finally get the answers to those questions.
You can easily tell the same hand that was behind the Ocean’s Trilogy is at the helm of this project as well. Logan Lucky may be low-key and stripped of the glamour of the director’s Clooney-starring heist capers, but the execution is just as slick here.
Despite the overall impressive filmmaking though, there are a few subplots that aren’t handled quite as smoothly as the main arc. The rift between a snooty businessman (Seth MacFarlane) and his sponsored driver (Sebastian Stan) doesn’t really add much to the proceedings. Furthermore, the FBI investigation towards the end – featuring a lacklustre performance by Hilary Swank as an agent assigned to the heist case – could have been more interesting instead of just seeming like a drag.
As for the cast, Tatum and Driver embrace their Southern characters as well as the film’s deadpan tone and are very well-cast in their roles. Keough also has an impressive screen presence. And Craig easily steals the show whenever he’s on screen.
All in all, this comedy/heist caper may not bring anything particularly new to its well-worn genre but it still offers an enjoyable adventure populated with well-crafted characters. Logan Lucky probably won’t be the most memorable film you watch this year, but it will still take you on a fun and entertaining two-hour ride.
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