A trio of low-brow siblings, thought to be living under a Logan family curse, seem destined to be held back from success by power and systems beyond their control. However, in hopes of getting rich quick, they proceed to carry out a seemingly far-fetched heist against The Charlotte Motor Speedway during a NASCAR race.
When Steven Soderbergh, the 2000 Oscar winner for “Traffic;” director of “Erin Brockovich” and “Sex, Lies, and Videotapes” among other blockbusters, announced his retirement from filmmaking in 2013, we did not expect to see him back so soon. However, he’s found a way to be true to his craft by owning all aspects of his August release, “Logan Lucky.”
This summer southern romp is reminiscent of Soderbergh’s 2001 “Ocean’s 11”, instead cleverly coined in the movie by the locals of Charlotte, North Carolina “Ocean’s 7/11” due to the main quartet played deftly by Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, and Daniel Craig. It is a deliberate, yet at times rollicking caper, where the key players’ eyes stay on the ball, but their light-hearted qualities keep their confidence high and our laughs consistent at the sometimes quirky Coen Brothers-style humor.
Though the film could have been more tightly edited, there are a few twists at the end that bring the entire adventure home, and many of the performances alone are worth the price of admission. Daniel Craig in particular adopts a scene-stealing performance by embodying the safe-cracking criminal Joe Bang, who is brash and uncouth, while capable and fresh, a delightful departure from Craig’s polished 007 persona. However, it is Channing Tatum, who plays Jimmy Logan, that surprises most by showing impressive range as he weathers his constant burden of poverty and repression at the whims of corporate elites. Logan shows inner strength that shines through his characterization, especially when he is fathering his little girl, played adoringly by Farrah Mackenzie.
“Logan Lucky” is a fun summer romp, where one must suspend disbelief and go along for the ride. It’s not a Dove Approved movie mostly based on the language, but also because of the rather-rotten character traits.