Logan Lucky Review
Retirement is a funny thing, ask the stars of stage, screen and the sports arena. When you think you are too old, or have nothing left to give your respective craft, you retire. Hopefully, you do this at the top of your game where you leave the audience or fans wanting for more. Prolific director Steven Soderbergh, after the release of his TV Movie Beyond the Candelabra in 2013 decided to hang up his view finder and focus on other passions like painting. Just like Michael Jordan in 1993, sometimes you just can't let it go, so here we are four years after retiring Soderbergh is back with an ensemble cast of who's who in Hollywood in 2017 in a madcap robbery farce, Logan Lucky.
When Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street) gets fired, he convinces his brother Clyde (Adam Driver, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and sister Mellie (Riley Keough, It Comes at Night) to help him rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a NASCAR race. They need the help of Joe Bang (Daniel Craig, Spectre) a convicted safe-cracker who is currently stuck behind bars. All they have to do is get Joe out, blow out the racetrack vault, get away with the cash and return Joe back to prison before he is noticed missing and get Jimmy to his daughter's beauty pageant. What could possible go wrong? With a curse over their heads the Logan's are the only ones who could possibly mess this up.
With his strikingly good looks hidden under a goatee beard, dyed greasy hair and a 'dad bod', Channing Tatum is the catalyst for the film and is the one to bring the plan together. An actor of many talents, here he finds himself with enough time to let scenes breath and play out as Soderbergh lets the camera intrude on family life as Tatum discusses the rigours of pageants with his young daughter as he fixes his car.
At points throughout Logan Lucky the narrative swings between seriousness and hilarity. The plan the group concoct is absurd at its core and humour flourishes from it. See scenes where dollar notes are floating around tubes and one character is afraid of being 'blowed' up. Like the aforementioned Fargo part of the comedy comes from the accents. A slow, clipped drawl making everything funny just that bit more hilarious.
Every director has a style, whether it be Hitchcock's fascination with the macabre side of everyday life, Spielberg's attention to the family dynamic or Cameron's fascination with metal and machines, Soderbergh has a style all of his own. At once scratching the surface of Americana and the sheer absurdity of Middle America living and Logan Lucky is no different. Coming across like a mix between the Coens' 1996 magnum opus Fargo and Adam McKay's absurd 2006 farce Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Soderbergh seems to have re-found his mojo. Logan Lucky is by no means his best film (see Traffic) but it's good to see him, once again, behind the camera. Soderbergh has never been a director to have an overly intrusive camera and here he leaves the camera sit back from the scenes when it needs to and even going so far as to let camera mistakes play out. See scenes with Joe Bang under the raceway where the camera operator clearly trips over and the camera tilts slightly. This happens a number of times throughout the film and makes the viewing experience feel a little bit more organic and less mechanical. Overall, a great return to form with a film cast of anti-hero's you can quite easily go along with in their absurd plans and daily lives.
These include some short deleted scenes and an exclusive interview with the director.