Today: February 29, 2024

Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky is the film that tempted Steven Soderbergh out of retirement. It’s only fitting therefore that the film that convinced him be one that is firmly anti-establishment. Think Ocean’s Eleven written by The Coens with the sole purpose of sticking it to the man.

Down on their luck Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver) Logan find themselves in need of money. When Jimmy loses his job at the local speedway he knows how to make a killing by robbing all the concession stands on race day. But to pull it off they will need explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) who happens to be in jail. So they need to bust him out, by busting in, to break into the speedway to liberate the cash, all before Jimmy’s daughter’s pageant show.

On the surface Logan Lucky is Ocean’s Eleven populated by a bunch of rednecks who, vocally at least, appear too dumb to be able to pull on their own socks, let alone pull off a heist. But this is Soderbergh and convention be damned, for the most part. Like it’s more flashy, Las Vegas based, cinematic sibling Ocean’s Logan intentionally keeps us in the dark for much of its running time. The result means you’re always eagerly invested if fully aware that at some point the rug is going to be pulled from beneath us and the powers that be pursuing our heroes.

Soderbergh keeps momentum going through comedic timing rather than tension, this is never ‘will they pull it off’ but rather how many laughs are we going to have along the way. All the characters are likeable in one way or another and do a solid job of dispelling the cliche without breaking the humour.

Tatum carries the film well, a kind of schlubby Danny Ocean if you will, while Driver’s deadpan delivery is a perfect foil to Tatum’s unflinching belief that everything will be alright. Meanwhile it’s Craig who is relishing in playing against type, his bleached blonde Bang half camp half illtectual charmer is always a highlight. It’s testament to Soderbergh’s obvious pulling power that almost every role is filled out by an A-list actor, spotting them becomes as much part of the entertainment as the film itself.

A film about operating outside the system by a filmmaker always at his best by doing exactly that, Logan Lucky is predictable but always joyously entertaining.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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