Logan Lucky (2017): Movie Review

By Tanmay Shukla

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

It is a recent phenomenon that mainstream Hollywood 'fun' movies are frequently embracing ordinary people as its heroes--characters devoid of glamour and cheeky, cheesy one-liner dialogues and it is their identity instead which speaks and shines. Logan Lucky is effectively a medium-budget heist movie featuring the likes of Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig and Adam Driver, naturally it would be foolish for it to incline towards art rather than commerce but surprisingly so that is the case. However, Logan Lucky is still an enjoyable and entertaining movie.

Life has been harsh to Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum): an injury putting his football career to end before it even began; he has separated from his wife Bobbie, an assertive women played by Katie Holmes who has custody of their smart daughter; and to make things worse he is laid off from his blue-collar job at Charlotte Motor Speedway for having a slight limp. His younger brother Clyde (Adam Driver) is an Iraq war veteran. Clyde's weirdness makes him funny. He runs a bar where a brawl breaks out after a customer makes fun of Clyde's prosthetic arm. Triggered Jimmy discloses his plan to heist the cash vault during a big NASCAR race event.

Logan Lucky is more about the drama leading up to the heist than the heist itself. So much that the heist feels pale in comparison to its thrilling build-up. Comparisons to Ocean's Eleven are inevitable, but their approach is essentially different. While the star-studded blockbuster was largely about the heist, the latest one is much less so. Most notably departure is that the characters are rooted in their identity: their dialect, their mannerisms, the peculiarities associated with their culture and place. While Ocean's Eleven team constituted experts, Jimmy's team is a bunch of barely adequate wierdos whose methods lack the meticulous plan and sophisticated execution of Ocean's Eleven and employ instead a hands-on approach which ends up comically when it doesn't work.

Joe Bang, played by Daniel Craig, is a safecracker who is serving time in prison. He is the only unpredictable and larger-than-life character when set against the rest, and is revealed to be a person who knows what he is doing in a funny little scene where he makes an explosive using bleach, gummy bears and dietary salt, and explains the science behind it, using the wall as board, write the equation to convince the baffled brothers. Daniel Craig with his cold and dominant stare adds dimension and energy to the story. Joe has two nincompoop brothers, Sam and Fish played by Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid respectively. They are morally righteous (pseudo) and they are also very funny. Logan brothers have an enterprising sister in Mellie played by Riley Keough. She works at a beauty salon. She is bold, emphasized by her witty response to the Bobbie's rich, irritating husband, Moody.

Steven Soderbergh has returned to film direction after announcing retirement in 2013. He took the project as it was in sharp contrast to an Ocean's movie. Logan Lucky is also an experiment in distribution. To have complete control over its production as well as distribution, he formed a new company--Fingerprint Releasing and together with Bleecker Street they are selling the film themselves.

Peter Andrews, the film's cinematographer, has shot the film candidly. He has used a lot of still, wide shots to capture the serene countryside. It fits well with Logan Lucky's focus to capture the everyday life in West Virginia. Although I feel that the editor Mary Ann Bernard and Steven Soderbergh fails to maintain the momentum which peaked in the build-up to the heist which gradually declined. However it does pick up some pace towards the dénouement but the ending was not as effective as it should have been.

Steven Soderbergh is an accomplished director and with Logan Lucky he delivers another entertaining and solid film backed up by a sharp script with rounded characters and a story to tell.

Logan Lucky is not as thrilling as Ocean's Eleven, but it is an original variation of a typical genre. It probably won't blow you away, but it will not disappoint you either

Logan Lucky - YouTube

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