Film Review: Logan Lucky (2017)
Review by Belle McIntyre
This is a seriously silly summer movie from director Steven Soderbergh who has been out of the picture for the last four years. He is using a formula which he honed in the “Ocean’s” heist films. The main difference is that he has created a redneck version featuring the Logan siblings. Jimmy (Channing Tatum) is a divorced down-on-his-luck dad whose ex-wife wife (Katie Holmes) has married the richest guy in this neck of West Virginia. Clyde (Adam Driver) is Jimmy’s brother, a laconic war vet who has lost part of his arm and wears a prosthetic one, which he takes on and off like a glove, and he works as a bartender.
When they plan an audacious heist which involves stealing vast amounts of cash from the NASCAR race track on a Memorial Day Weekend, they enlist their sister Mellie (Riley Keough), who works as a hairdresser as well as Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) an expert on..…guess what? Explosives. The tricky part is that Joe Bang is in prison serving out the last few months of his term. His only condition for agreeing to join this crazy caper is that he must be gotten out and back in without being caught. For some reason he agrees (Do not look for reason or logic in this film). To that end, Clyde gets himself arrested in order to spring himself and Joe Bang out.
(Are you following?) One of the funnier moments is when the cops arrest Clyde and he offers up his fake arm for the handcuffs. Adam Driver has raised drollery to new heights.
Needless to say, this hare-brained scheme has many flaws and there are predictable set-backs but the brothers seem always to have a back-up plan B. There are moments of inspired lunacy and a lot of star power in this souped up send-up. Seth Macfarlane appears as an obnoxious NASCAR driver, Dwight Yoakum plays the prison warden and Hilary Swank plays the detective investigating the robbery. Soderbergh has reverse-engineered his characters from the “Ocean’s” franchise. While the former were preposterously ultra-cool and slick, these dudes are dorky, inept and laughably lame. And yet they pull something off. The plotting is so convoluted and full of red herrings that we alternately believe they have failed only to find out that they have not. And in a final twist in the last scene, Hilary Swank turns up again out of uniform at Clyde’s bar. (Cue ominous music) Hmmmm. What could that portend? Could this be a set up for a sequel? I’ll probably miss that one.