Logan Lucky: Shades of Soderbergh still intact
The humour and directorial style make it somewhat of a typical Soderbergh effort. Not his best, by any means, but still very watchable.
Logan Lucky is not as intriguing as Sex, Lies, and Videotape, or as suave as the Ocean’s Trilogy, or even as gritty as Traffic, but the film has the markings of ‘typical Soderbergh’ pasted all over it. There’s the humour, which ebbs and flows as a seemingly incompetent bunch of people attempt to organise a robbery. There’s also the regular scenes of obfuscation thrown in there to veer the viewer off course. Between all this, is the talk of a family curse that haunts the unlucky Logans, and the story arc of a father-daughter bond that may or may not hinge on a children’s beauty pageant. Channing Tatum plays Jimmy Logan, a once-gifted college football star whose dreams were cut short by an unfortunate injury; he now works as a construction worker at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Adam Driver plays Jimmy’s brother, Clyde, a war veteran turned bartender who lost half his arm in Iraq.
Director – Steven Soderbergh
Cast – Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Hilary Swank
Set in Charlotte, North Carolina, the film does play a little into the hands of the dim-witted redneck stereotype, but pokes fun at itself constantly and keeps things light. When Jimmy is laid off his job due to liability issues, he decides to use his knowledge of the Speedway’s complex pneumatic tube system for moving money to his own advantage. He convinces his brother, Clyde, and sister, Mellie (who, with her expert understanding of cars will act as a sort of getaway driver) to join forces with him on the heist. Joining the trio on this unlikely plan is, Joe Bang (a currently incarcerated felon with a penchant for successfully breaching high-security safes), and the latter’s two dense brothers, Sam and Fish.
While Tatum and Driver are suited to their roles and play them rather believably, it is the supporting cast of Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane & Co. that keeps you in splits every now and then. Craig’s eccentric portrayal of Joe Bang, and the conversations he enters into with the rest of his partners in crime, is something to behold. Another hilarious scene involves a prison riot; when the lackadaisical warden asks the inmates to release the guards being held hostage and state their demands, the ring-leader steps up to the mic and asks for the latest copies of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones saga to be stocked in the facility’s library. The following exchange has the warden attempting to convince the man that The Winds of Winter has not released as per schedule.
In spite of its two-hour length, the humour and direction sustain the interest in Logan Lucky. The plot, typical of Soderbergh’s heist movies, is long-drawn and has many turns along the way. The parent-child story, with a particularly touching sequence in which Jimmy’s daughter sings Denver’s Country Roads at a kids’ beauty pageant as a tribute to her father, panned out rather well too. Logan Lucky, much like its setting, is slow to get going. But once you give it that time, the takeaway is more than just your run-of-the-mill staged robbery film.