Logan Lucky (2017) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Rebecca Blunt
Stars: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Katie Holmes

Sometimes you go into a movie not expecting too much from it. This is not a dig at the plot, the Director or the Cast. Just sometimes this happens and surprisingly it turns out to be one of your favourite movies of the year. Yes, Logan Lucky (or as I keep calling it Lucky Logan?) is about two brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan who attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

Jimmy Logan is played by Channing Tatum, who was a football player and star from his small town in West Virginia, his ambitions of joining the NFL were cut short by a knee injury that unfortunately also has effected his chances of work due to health and safety laws. (He is laid off at the beginning of the movie) It appears that everyone in the Logan family is cursed and this is mentioned a few times throughout the movie. His brother Clyde (Adam Driver) lost an arm (or the forearm and hand as he points out to people) serving his country and is now working in a bar for the local neanderthals to make fun off.

Tatum and Driver although some might say to look at definitely aren’t brothers but both actors appear to have a brotherly connection throughout and there are scenes dotted throughout where Jimmy shows his love for his brother. Both appear to be at the end of their tether and even more so Jimmy who has just found out that his ex-wife Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes) is moving across state with her new husband and Bobbie and Jimmy’s daughter Sadie played by an impressive young actress called Farrah Mackenzie.

At this point in the movie, things for both brothers have to change and this is where Jimmy’s plan is put in place to channel the cash from the arena that is pouring in from a NASCAR race event using the vacuum tubes that lay in the foundations of the arena that Jimmy knows from working in the mines and also knows that there is a secure vault within those foundations that all the cash is vacuumed into. This is also the point in the movie that I think a lot of people have a problem with. The sheer scale of precision and accuracy in the plan, mostly Jimmy’s plan is unbelievable, but hey, what the heck just enjoy the craziness of the plot and don’t worry too much about that. The movie is clearly made for entertainment value (aren’t all movies like this?) and that is what makes this movie a silly but really enjoyable film.

Tatum and Driver are certainly the leads in this movie but they are also backed up by Daniel Craig playing Joe Bang the explosives expert. Craig is a stand out in his performance and I can only imagine Director Steven Soderbergh giving the British actor free reigns as Craig really lets loose in the role and his southern accent is incredibly convincing for someone who is from Cheshire, England. Bang’s expertise is required for the heist and with only one snag (being in prison) the Logan boys have to figure out a way of getting their man in on the action.

With Craig in a superb supporting role I can’t say much the same for the very under used Seth MacFarlane as Max Chilblain who I thought was a great character but perhaps I can accept Soderbergh understating this role as Chilblain dominates the screen in his scenes to be fair. Again the same can be said for Sebastian Stan’s Dayton White, not quite a cameo, nor a supporting role. The biggest of them all and what took me by surprise was the appearance near the very end of the movie of Hilary Swank as Special Agent Sarah Grayson. Perhaps this is being set up for a sequel I don’t know. Swank’s role is very limited and kind of bizarre that someone of her acting calibre is used in a role that could have gone to anyone. Playing the Special Agent in the investigation of the heist was a throw away set up. It certainly wasn’t the FBI on a hot pursuit to catch the criminals but more of a way for the story to explain that the authorities are on this and to be honest it looks like it may have been a last minute decision to include Hilary Swank in the role.

Overall the Direction of Soderbergh is more in line with “Ocean’s” series of film rather than his “Che” movie making style. It’s slick and funny and again shouldn’t be taken too seriously as “Logan Lucky” is an enjoyable film with a great cast. Highly Recommend.

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