West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to steal money from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Jimmy also recruits demolition expert Joe Bang to help them break into the track’s underground system. Complications arise when a mix-up forces the crew to pull off the heist during a popular NASCAR race while also trying to dodge a relentless FBI agent.
Logan Lucky is Steven Soderbergh’s triumphant return to the director’s chair after his supposed “retirement.” Logan Lucky is a heist flick both in a traditional and non-traditional way. Traditional in the way that they steal some money, there’s a robbery and you know all the heist stuff. However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a heist film take place in the same setting that Logan Lucky does. This is a film with a southern setting that I think really helps give the film its own personality. And yeah no film with a southern backdrop is complete without John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Channing Tatum is really great here and has what is maybe one of the best performances of his career. Adam Driver and Daniel Craig are also great and they have great chemistry together. Riley Keough continues to be what I consider one of the most underrated actresses working today. Sebastian Stan and Katherine Waterston’s’ roles are really more just cameos rather than anything else. The problem here for me is Seth MacFarlane. His character was very annoying and completely took me out of every scene he was in.
Most of the story elements in Logan Lucky are pretty well realized, most things that take place in the heist are connected and everything is very nicely wrapped in the end. The main flaw in the narrative is that there is really no reason for the heist to take place. In other heist films there is usually a reason for the money to be stolen like a greedy boss that treats everyone poorly is robbed and deserves it, you know that kind of thing. In Logan Lucky Channing Tatum’s character is fired and he is running low on money, but there never seems like there is reason to pull off something with as much consequences as this huge robbery. The film also kind of depicts the two Logan brothers as these two pretty dumb characters but also expects us to believe they are genius enough to pull of this complicated heist.
In all fairness, I’m being pretty hard on Logan Lucky. I had a great time with it. It’s a little above your normal flick and it knows who its audience is. Logan Lucky is a much smarter film than I thought I would be and it’s a good two hours of entertainment. I don’t think it’s a masterpiece as some have hailed it or anything like that, but it’s a solid film nonetheless. If you’re seeing one movie in theaters before the great lineup in September starts, make it Logan Lucky.