Directed by Steven Soderbergh
by Rosalie Kicks!, Old Sport
Logan Lucky is your typical heist movie but with charisma.
As the story unfolded on screen, it was like I had seen it all before. Overall, I find heist flicks tend to be formulaic and typically go something like this: After being wronged in some way, Guy gets an idea for a heist. Guy assembles a crew of misfits. Guy reviews the plan with said crew with the help of dioramas and diagrams. Guy and team enact the plan. After the plan is completed, everything is then regurgitated back to us and thoroughly explained. Oh wait! Can’t forget about that monkey wrench though. There is always a trick up the guy’s sleeve that no one knew about or that unexpected surprise that could cause the entire scheme to go wrong. Miraculously the heist is completed and if there is a girl to be gotten, the guy gets her. The end.
After watching Logan Lucky, I couldn’t stop thinking about how similar this film was to what I remembered of Ocean's Eleven. Both being Soderbergh heist flicks™ it is not surprising they would have similarities. Besides Ocean's Eleven being set in the slick world of Vegas and Logan Lucky in a small podunk town in the south, there was one major difference that stuck out to me: the characters, specifically the Logan brothers.
In Logan Lucky, the characters come off as more relatable and they are pretty damn fun. In Ocean's Eleven, I have next to no interest in getting to know any of these people. Seriously, who wants to watch Clooney ambling around on screen when you can have Channing Tatum.
Channing Tatum plays Jimmie Logan, a former high school football star, who after suffering a debilitating injury causes him to get left behind in his hometown with a limp. This character is a down-on-his-luck guy who has just been fired from his job and informed that his ex-wife plans to pack up and move to a ritzy suburban neighborhood with their child. This all amounts to the fire being lit under his ass: Jimmie needs to make money, and quick.
Jimmie pays a visit to the local watering hole where his one-armed brother Clyde, played by Adam Driver, tends bar. Jimmie reveals to his brother with the use of dioramas (obviously) his plan to pull off one final heist during a NASCAR Race in South Carolina. Literally making money the FAST way. However, before they can proceed, they need to assemble a crew. They meet up with their friend, explosive guru Joe Bang, played by Daniel Craig. Joe is in prison, but this does not seem to trouble the Logan brothers. All they will need to do is break Joe out of jail in broad daylight and ensure he is back safe and sound in his black and white striped onesie by lock up, no biggie. Luckily for them the jail’s warden is Dwight Yoakam.
Throughout the movie, there is mention of the “Logan curse” however, besides incidents that seemed to happen to the brothers in the past, there is barely any evidence of this. Their sister, played by Riley Keough, is rather forgettable but mainly due to the way in which she is utilized within the story. Upon my Ocean's Eleven re-watch I have found Soderbergh doesn’t seem to know what to do with female characters. Keough’s character pops up here and there. It would have been nice to see her have more of a prominent role in the heist. However, it is worth mentioning that with the portrayal of Jimmie’s daughter, Soderbergh succeeds in showing a multidimensional female character. Initially when we are introduced to the character she's assisting her dad fix his car, passing him tools, and comes off as quite knowledgeable in this area. The next time we see her, she is prepping for a beauty pageant. This shows that a person, specifically a female, is able to be both a beauty queen and a mechanic. I would have liked to have seen more of this for the sister. Keough’s character attempted to go there, but something was missing for me. Why couldn’t the sister be the brains behind the heist?
Probably my favorite part of this whole flick was Daniel Craig. It was nice to see this guy doing something other than being a bored James Bond. Hearing him do a southern accent is quite humorous. I also enjoyed that he comes off as this redneck from the sticks, but is a mastermind when it comes to chemistry. If this guy would have been my chem teacher, I would have gotten A's. Everything makes more sense when you are explaining equations with gummy bears.
This movie is worth watching, but take it from me, it is not a movie that you need to race out to theaters for. There is barely any imagery that I would deem worthy of needing to see in the cinema. That is unless you have been really wondering what seeing Seth MacFarlane on the big screen would be like (guess what: He is NOT FUNNY). This movie is a call the pizza delivery dude, plop down on your sofa and watch it on a Friday night from the comfort of home kind of deal. It is about a half hour too long. This will be especially felt, when FBI agent Hilary Swank shows up and the entire heist needs to be re-explained cause you might have missed something when you had your eyes closed for a minute. Watching it from home, you will be glad that the pause button is within reach and a cold beer is just a quick walk to the fridge.