Title: Logan Lucky
Rating: 4 Stars
Steven Soderbergh takes his caper film trope (Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen) and moves it decidedly South.
No longer set in glitzy Las Vegas with its Rat Pack milieu, most of the planning takes place in a West Virginian dive bar named Duck Tape. The plan is to steal all of the cash that is stored at a vault at the Charlotte motor speedway.
Leading the crew is an unemployed construction worker Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) that needs some cash so that he can continue to be close to his daughter, who is moving with her mother over the state line. He enlists his brother Clyde (Adam Driver), who is missing part of his arm from a tour in Iraq and his hair stylist sister Mellie (Riley Keough). He needs help blowing the vault, so he enlists a currently incarcerated explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), who insists that his two dimwitted brothers who have recently discovered God be brought along as well.
So, the plot involves getting Joe Bang out of prison and back in before it is noticed, blowing up the vault, getting all of the money, and making good on an escape. As is usual in such films, at several points things appear to be going completely haywire. However, in true Danny Ocean form, Jimmy seems to have a plan for everything and the heist continues on.
As a heist movie, it was just about par for the course. It had the usual complex elements requiring some pretty serious suspension of belief as events move in perfect synchronicity.
The characters were fun, especially Daniel Craig in full Southern accent. He appeared to be having good fun with his role. His use of fake salt and gummy bears as his explosive device was a fun wink at the sophisticated devices used in the Oceans movies.
It pokes hopefully gentle fun at Southern culture. You see characters playing horseshoes with toilet seat covers. A major plot point revolves around whether or not Jimmy will be able to make his daughter’s beauty pageant. His daughter is less than ten and at the pageant is in full JonBenet Ramsey makeup and hair.
It was not a film for deep thought. It was fun, entertaining, and had a couple of solid laughs.
And yes, Steven Soderbergh has pretty much made his fortune showing how much crime pays and how much fun you can have while committing crimes.