Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky gets a warm welcome here at TDF. Daniel Theophanous reviews.
Logan Lucky is centred around two down-on-their-luck brothers: Jimmy and Clyde Logan (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, respectively). Jimmy is a construction worker who has been laid off work due to liability issues amid fears of losing his young daughter, who’s about to move to another state with her mother (Katie Holmes) and wealthy step-father. Clyde is a war veteran who lost his hand in Iraq and is now resigned to working in a dive bar for bad tips. Both fed up by their dismal economic prospects, they conjure up an elaborate heist at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Their plan, however, calls for an explosives expert and they resort to recruit an eccentric convict named Joe Bang, played by an exceptionally camouflaged Daniel Craig. However, securing Joe’s help will require breaking him out of prison first.
Set in West Virginia, the country of blue collar labour and child beauty pageants, Logan Lucky comes across as an all=American working class version of director Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans 11 franchise. All the analogous ingredients are there: the ensemble of well-known cast, intriguing savvy storyline revolving around some convoluted robbery and comedic undertones; all combined with countless fast-moving twists and turns. Soderbergh manages to subvert most country-esque, Trump voting territory stereotypes by injecting a heart-warming likeability to his rough-around- the-edges characters and as a viewer you become sensitive to their struggles.
Events that unfold at the start of the film are a tad slow and monotonous. However, in retrospect this allows for character depth and background setting as once plans start to shift in motion, the plot picks up at an accelerated pace, which coupled with the continuous tinges of dead pan humour scattered throughout proves highly absorbing. The Soderbergh signature style of packing in as many big names as possible into one movie is very much present. The numerous appearances of well-known faces around every corner is pleasant if a distraction, considering how many of them there are.
Tatum is cementing his reputation as a serious and versatile actor; he gives Jimmy an ordinariness and aloofness which is befitting but also comes across as very sweet, kind and well-meaning. Adam Driver’s Clyde is also noteworthy as his equally aloof and slightly more goofy, submissive brother; a role which seems to fit him like a glove. However, the highlight, possibly of the whole film, is Daniel Craig’s performance as the wacky, jailbird, bleached-blonde Joe Bang. Craig nails it with Joe down to the minutest detail. He is totally unrecognisable as this uncouth hillbilly convict. The looks, the accent, the delivery, the punch lines mean he is flawless in every way and simply compelling to watch.
Hailed as a Soderbergh come-back, his last directorial outing was the equally brilliant Behind The Candelabra (2013), Logan Lucky is an enjoyable, witty mainstream (with independent credentials) film which hits in all the right spots and is a testament to Soderbergh’s brilliance in filmmaking.
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