“Logan Lucky” is a terrific, meditative look at the declining middle class told through the lens and Oceans-esque heist picture. It stands as one of the best directings Steven Soderbergh has ever crafted, likely in his top five, with acting that represents some of the best in the industry. Channing Tatum builds on his charisma, offering a strong leading turn; Adam Driver is as reliably excellent as ever, Riley Keough comes off of the goodwill from Fury Road and spends it well. Seth Macfarlane is close to unrecognizable as an obnoxious racer, and Daniel Craig steals the show as an inmate whose services are solicited for the ‘hillbilly heist.’
Jimmy Logan (Tatum) just got laid off at his construction job, he is trying to be a father to his daughter and communicate with his estranged wife (Katie Holmes, also in top form). Short on money, he talks with his brother Clyde (Driver) and they agree to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway, like they’d been talking about for the longest time. Joining their crew are Joe Bangs (Craig) and his brothers.
Beyond the strong ensemble acting and some laugh out loud, oddball humor (there’s a lengthy exchange in the film bemoaning how long it takes George R.R. Martin to put out new books), the film is deeply provocative at its core, but not in a way that crushes the viewer. Its relayed like a folk tale, like Johnny Appleseed or Davy Crockett, Clyde and Jimmy Logan take from the rich and redistribute the wealth. The setting is to be noted, with North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia being at the center of the decay of labor. Soderbergh’s film is just subtle enough, not too abstract but not unintentionally cringe-inducing.
A lot of the pleasures of “Logan Lucky” are gained from simply seeing the technique on-screen. Soderbergh’s direction is airtight with it never feeling too long, with the exception of the last five minutes. It will be on dvd soon; this comes strongly recommended.
Written by Jeff Turner