Back from a four-year hiatus, Steven Soderbergh returns with a funny and impeccably-shot (I wouldn’t expect any less from Soderbergh) heist movie that shines with its intriguing and likable characters. Logan Lucky, or “Ocean’s Seven-Eleven” as the heist is referred to by some woman on the news (in the film) is a fun ride with phenomenal use of mise en scène.
A John Denver song opens this film, this is now the third time John Denver has been referenced in a movie this year (Alien: Covenant and Free Fire) being the other uses of “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. It’s just interesting that this year’s movies seem to have a fascination with John Denver and that specific song. I hate to dwell on this but I just think its a really funny pattern. This introduces us to Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) a football player that had his career was cut short by a leg injury. It turns out that the whole Logan family are notorious for a family curse. Clyde (Adam Driver), Jimmy’s brother lost his arm while in military. After Jimmy loses his construction job, he decides to pull off a heist at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It isn’t just Clyde and Jimmy that really make this movie. It’s the other characters too. Pretty much all are cleverly sculpted to be the right amount of absurd and realistic. Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) specifically. This is a performance that I have never seen Craig take on as an actor, a country fried criminal. The only performance that seemed lacking was Hillary Swank as FBI agent Sarah Grayson, her whole part of the movie seemed a bit weird and it slowed the movie down to a screeching halt. Luckily her role was minor and slowed down the movie for only about ten minutes, if not even.
The great thing about Soderbergh is that he is a cinematographer as well as a director so, he has a great understanding of both positions in the industry. This film in particular has some really interesting shots as well and the whole movie has a sort of vibrancy that is unmatched by anything that has come out this year.
A Soderbergh heist movie has fun with the outrageous plot. The three Ocean’s movies were so far-fetched and over the top in how they pulled off their heists that they made it a fun and crazy endeavor to watch. Logan Lucky is no different, it involves a Jimmy and Clyde meeting with a man dressed in a bear suit, a prison riot that is negotiated down to getting George R.R. Martin to release The Winds of Winter, and painted cockroaches. This is a very layered movie that I wanted to watch again as soon as I left the theater and I think most will feel the same way.