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Logan Lucky Second Take Review

"Steven Soderbergh's return to feature filmmaking, is enjoyable but forgettable"

Ocean’s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh’s newest film Logan Lucky, his first film after a 4-year retirement from directing major features, is a heist caper starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig.

Jimmy Logan (Tatum) is a former high school football star, who is divorced from his high school sweetheart (Katie Holmes) and has just been laid off from his job. Money becomes an even more immediate need when he finds out that his ex and her husband are taking his young daughter and moving south, and he needs money to sue for joint custody. He recruits his armless brother Clyde (Driver) and gets a bright idea to rob a NASCAR race taking place in North Carolina in the upcoming weeks. The last piece of the puzzle is to recruit incarcerated explosives “expert” Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) in order to help blow up the vault where the money is stored.

Jimmy Logan (Tatum) is a former high school football star, who is divorced from his high school sweetheart (Katie Holmes), and has just been laid off from his job. Money becomes an even more immediate need when he finds out that his ex and her husband is taking his young daughter and moving south, and he needs money to sue for joint custody. He recruits his armless brother Clyde (Driver) and gets a bright idea to rob a NASCAR race taking place in North Carolina in the upcoming weeks. The last piece of the puzzle is to recruit incarcerated explosives “expert” Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) in order to help blow up the vault where the money is stored.

Since they are both ensemble heist films, there will be inevitable comparisons to Soderbergh’s most successful film, Ocean’s Elevens. Both contain several characters with colorful personalities, both of the heists are motivated due to personal reasons of the main character, both are comedies, and both have extremely intricate heist plans. There’s a line in this that refers to this as ‘Oceans 7-Eleven’, implying that it’s a hillbilly version of that heist, and that’s fairly tongue-in-cheek as well as accurate.

Ocean’s Eleven was slick, the cast is modeled after the Rat Pack from the 1960’s, the music from that era is the soundtrack to that film, and the heist is more believable coming from this particular cast of characters. George Clooney’s character was a career criminal, who made a lot of mistakes and spent a lot of time in jail because of them. So it would make sense that he would take time to plan this heist as meticulously as he does. Logan, a former star athlete, who has been down on his luck has never been to jail, so I don’t really know why he would have the motivation to do this. Also, the plan for this heist comes out of nowhere, and there was never really a sense of desperation from Logan or Clyde. He just said let’s rob.

After getting to know his character for the first few minutes it’s hard to believe that Jimmy and Clyde would ever come up with a plan this involved on their own. They seem like perfectly smart men, but not that smart to be able to rob a huge sports event in broad daylight, without getting caught.

The movie is lighthearted fun. Channing Tatum is a charismatic lead who you root for, Adam Driver is solid, and Daniel Craig, playing completely against his James Bond role, disappears into his character. Complete with shock blonde hair, and an exaggerated southern accent, he is the bright spot here. Soderbergh even includes him in the credits as “Introducing Daniel Craig” because it is such a drastic difference. Honorable mention goes to Dwight Yoakam, who is hilarious in scenes as a prison warden.

Logan Lucky is a light hearted romp that is for the most part fun to watch. I wish that there was more to the story such as Jimmy getting into trouble when he was younger, maybe something more about the Logan’s upbringing, something that could have provided the character with a bigger sense of urgency that I could have understood. Then the aftermath of the heist would have provided a greater sense of satisfaction or made me care more that they pulled it off. It’s a good film, but it’s forgettable.

Rating
6.7
Pros
  • Standout Performance from Daniel Craig
  • Funny
Cons
  • Plot hard to follow at times
  • Needed more character development

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