Logan Lucky is Another Highly Entertaining Soderbergh Heist Film (Review)

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2017 has been a refreshing year for the heist movie.  Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver kicked off the summer with a highly entertaining movie with a kickass soundtrack.  Logan Lucky is a heist movie of a similar fashion.  Steven Soderbergh returns to form with a hilarious robbery film with an awesome cast that excels in a different roles than audiences might expect from them.

 

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After being laid off from his construction job, Jimmy Logan enlists the help of his brother and a few other eccentric characters to pull off a robbery during the biggest NASCAR race of the season.


The Logans have been cursed.  Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) has been laid off due to his limp being considered a liability.  His brother Clyde (Adam Driver) lost his arm during his time in the army.  There are countless other stories about other Logans told by the whole town that makes anyone who comes into contact with a Logan extra wary.  When the brother comes up with a plan to rob the cash vault at the NASCAR race, no one believes they will pull it off without catastrophic results ensuing.  It just would not be a proper heist movie if some adversity and hijinks did not ensue due to the Logan curse.

Logan Lucky is hilarious if nothing else.  One of the first lines involves a child describing what Rhianna’s hit song Umbrella is really about. Steven Soderbergh has made some highly entertaining films.  The Ocean’s trilogy is a staple of modern movie culture.  Magic Mike is another pop culture hit that solidified the relationship between the director and lead actor Channing Tatum.  The performance Tatum delivers in this movie again proves he is a talented actor who is more than just really really good looking.
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The cast of this movie is incredible.  Channing Tatum and Adam Driver have great chemistry have great chemistry as the Logan brothers.  Not only does Tatum continue to prove himself as an actor, but Driver delivers a very nuanced performance that showcases him as one of the best working actors today.  Katie Holmes and Riley Keough play competently as the women of the Logan family.  Seth Macfarlane makes a comedic appearance as usual.  One of the better performances is from Daniel Craig as the jailed bank bomber Joe Bang.  Nothing about this role is too different for Craig, but the comedic opportunities the character presents in the plot are golden.

One scene in particular where Joe Bang has to pause the robbery to explain the science is absolutely hilarious.  The movie is filled with moments like this.  They are staggered enough through the movie to make them feel fresh and not allow this movie to feel like a slapstick comedy.  The pacing also allows for the plot to move along quickly without feeling too rushed.

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The film isn’t perfect.  The plot slows down a bit once the heist concludes to follow a subplot that ties up a bunch of lose ends.  This new subplot starts with 15 minutes left of the film.  It does not feel as planned out as the rest of the movie and a bit disjointed and rushed.  The film comes back together in it’s final moments to wrap up everything nicely, but it’s not as strong as the majority of the movie revolving around the heist.

Overall, Logan Lucky is a welcome addition to Soderbergh’s already impressive filmography.  With a hilarious script and an impressive cast that are well suited for the material, the director proves that he is able to bring excellent performances from his resources.  It may not be as strong as his films like the Ocean’s movies, but it definitely a must see film.

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