Movie Review: Logan Lucky
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Katie Holmes, Riley Keough, Seth Macfarlane and Daniel Craig.
Release Date: 18th August 2017Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. – courtesy of IMDB
Logan Lucky’s Charm
After a brief retirement period, Steven Soderbergh is back with his latest crime caper involving two brothers from the south with big dreams of taking a big score. Myself, as well as many other film lovers were sad to hear the news of Soderbergh’s plan to retire a few years back, but I think I speak for all of us when his plan turned out to be short lived.
Logan Lucky is a quietly smart film with absurd characters in more mundane circumstances. The story is simple and yet the writing and plotting is very particular and precise, resulting in a fun-loving film not trying to take itself too seriously. All it aims to do is put a smile 0n your face, and it certainly achieved that from me.
Logan Lucky succeeds on the layering of little details. Yes, the film is fun, and even kind of ‘cooky’ at times, but the script is far smarter than it initially leads on. Scenes that first seem out of place with dialogue that appears almost unnecessary end up weaving its way back into the story later down the line. Some serious foreshadowing is at play here, reminiscent to something that would appear in an Edgar Write movie. When the laughs come they are genuinely funny, but it doesn’t rely on the more absurdist routes to always get the laugh. Although, when the dumb jokes do come they are funny nonetheless.
The writers new how to play off our preconceived ideas of the ‘dumb southerner’ stereotypes, so when call backs to earlier scenes are made and twists arise, the revelations feel that much smarter and the laughs more deserved. It’s hard to give specific examples because half the fun of Logan Lucky comes from the unravelling of the story; after all, this is a heist film and a prison break movie all wrapped into one. This is one to go into knowing as little about the story as possible.
In terms of the acting, everyone does a fine job. Channing Tatum works well as the charismatic leading man, and Adam Driver is subtly funny as the quiet, more stoic brother. He acts as the voice of reason to the insanity, but when he gets wrapped in it himself he’s able to confidently produce just the right comedic tone.
The standout performance, and one that’s probably best described as the ‘wild card’ choice of casting, comes from Daniel Craig. When the trailer first dropped, I like many others were surprised to see James Bond himself in this type of role. Whilst I was personally happy knowing he was trying something different, I was very sceptical. Not seeing him a comedic setting previously, I had doubts of him fitting in. I was wrong. Within five minutes on screen Craig becomes a chameleon by completely melding in with his borderline wacky convict character, so much so that I almost forgot it was him until his name appeared in the closing credits. By no means is Craig’s performance award worthy, but it’s a fun reminder that he is a very capable actor when given the right roles. Craig doesn’t have to live under the typecast shadow of Bond – the man can certainly act.
Logan Lucky is a confident, charismatic, entertaining crime movie with a surprising amount of heart at its core. Whilst the movie feels like it could end twenty minutes earlier, those final twenty minutes which initially feel tacked on and unneeded quickly become necessary to reveal more twists and add even more life to a film which felt like it was already over. The film doesn’t move at as quick a pace as you think it would, given from the trailer’s presentation. It does take its time. But when the ball gets rolling, Logan Lucky offers a little cinematic treat that doesn’t take itself too seriously and marks a solid ending for a summer full of great movies. Glad to have you back, Soderbergh!
+ Intelligent Script
+ Witty Dialouge
+ An unexpectedly fun turn from Daniel Craig
- Slightly slow opening
- Despite the revelations, the ending still feels like padding