Oceans 11 with a hick ensemble.
BY John Blackburn
‘Logan Lucky’ is the new film from the director of Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13. Coming out of retirement, Steven Soderbergh has paired up with a previously unknown writer named Rebecca Blunt. It tells the story of divorced dad from West Virginia Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), who has been fired from his mining job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for having a limp leg. When he learns that his wife plans to move his daughter away, he cooks up a plan to get money and stay connected with his child- by robbing money at the Speedway alongside his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and a bomb expert who’s “in-car-cer-at-ed” Joe Bang (Daniel Craig).
The film itself has an interesting feel and charm, similar to a Wes Anderson or a Coen Brothers production. It’s best described if Ocean’s 11 was played out in West Virginia with a cast ensemble of American country folks. But what makes this film better than Ocean’s 11 is that the main protagonist, Jimmy, actually has a legitimate reason for putting this super-precise heist together. In terms of the acting, everyone does great in bringing these quirky characters to life, especially Daniel Craig. His character, Joe Bang was a real surprise and joy for me, as this English-actor famous for portraying the iconic, suave and classy agent James Bond is the one that truly shines in this film. Every time he pops up on screen his character is a delight to watch. Alongside Craig are the other two leads Tatum and Driver, who play some highly likeable characters, and the trio work off each other incredibly well. Furthermore, the cinematography crafted by the director himself (under a different name ‘Peter Andrews’) is very neat in showing off the setting and providing that unique, quirky, and indie feel.
The film doesn’t have a lot of laugh out loud moments (the best jokes were in the trailer – sorry) and the second act does seem slow, since it shows a bunch of scenes that don’t relate to the heist at that point. But they do have purpose at the third act, which is when the heist occurs and the pace starts to pick up. The heist plan is so precise and has so much thought put into it, that its quite enjoyable to watch come together. And of course, there are some things that go wrong and a bunch of twists to keep the film intriguing.
Overall, I would say the film is pretty good. While it does drag a little in the middle and it didn’t make me laugh out loud too much, the characters and cinematography allow a plot you would get from Oceans 11 to be delivered in a more unique and eventually fun way. If you’re into heist films and want a different setting from the classiness you would get from Oceans 11, consider giving this fun flick a go.