I had the privilege of seeing the trailer for Logan Lucky, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the cast. I was so excited to see Daniel Craig in a prison cell and Channing Tatum, post 21 Jump Street in another Action-Comedy. I knew from the rest of the trailer that the film would lack intelligence, but I hoped for some good action sequences and solid acting among the strong cast.
Logan Lucky follows two brothers who try to pull off a heist at the biggest racing event in North Carolina. Contrary to what the film’s title will have you believe, the Logan family are anything but lucky – and the “Logan Family Curse” becomes a spoken motif throughout the picture. Clyde Logan (played by Adam Driver) is a one-armed bartender who lost half his arm during his tour in Iraq. While Jimmy Logan (played by Channing Tatum) was a young quarterback, rising to fame in his home town before a knee injury shattered his dreams – leaving him with a lifelong limp and employment complications.
In the frustration of losing yet another job, filling sinkholes beneath North Carolina’s largest racing ground, Jimmy devises a plan to rob the ground’s bank vault. Jimmy brings in his brother Clyde, sister Mellie and the expertise of Joe Bang (played by Daniel Craig). The only thing in their way is that Joe Bang is in prison and won’t be out in time before their window of opportunity closes.
Soderbergh has had an extremely fruitful career as a director and has worked with Tatum before on Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL. This does seem a touch light, but when you burrow further into his portfolio of work you see it includes the Ocean’s saga – one of the most popular heist movies in the noughties. **Side note: we are being graced with another Ocean’s movie in 2018, produced by Soderbergh himself.** I think Soderbergh’s efforts paid off in Logan Lucky and he was able to keep the pace in this unintelligent and two-dimensional picture.
The character development in this film was not the strongest, but was done such that the audience cared just enough to want the antagonist to succeed – and yes, this is one of those movies where we are actually rooting for the guy committing the crime, because it’s justified as he is really a good person deep down. One part of the character development that I did like was that Soderbergh and writer, Rebecca Blunt, challenged the audience’s stereotypes of “Hillbillies” and the schema that a lack of sophistication is always coupled with a lack of intelligence. Each character and their caricature-like accent surprise the audience with their genius level execution of the heist.
The cast performed well as expected – but I feel that Daniel Craig was miscast in this picture. I do not think he should cheapen his brand with these types of roles, not that he is completely typecast, but I feel he needs to explore his talent first through more serious dramatic performances, rather than jumping straight to comedy.
Overall, I think this film was quite mediocre but provided some much needed light entertainment. If you are not a film snob you will enjoy this picture – however if you are looking for an intense drama amidst lighthearted comedy – much like The Big Sick or heavily comedic action sequences in the style of Kick-Ass, then this movie just isn’t for you.
Cast: Channing Tatum, Farah Mackenzie, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig