Film Review: ‘Logan Lucky’ Marries Heist and Comedy with Steven Soderbergh Officiating the Ceremony

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Clever, fun, and entertaining, Steven Soderbergh‘s latest comedy thrill-ride, “Logan Lucky,” is a rapturous time at the movies.  Assembling a cast of outlandish characters, Soderbergh, along with writer Rebecca Blunt in her screenwriting debut, offers an entertaining experience for all to enjoy with his comedic balance and slick storytelling.

“Logan Lucky” tells the story of two brothers, Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver), who attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.  With the help of their jailed associate Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and very attractive younger sister (Riley Keough), the team attempt to pull off a job that can improve more than just their financial situations.

The world in which Blunt creates seems as if it was assembled for the Coen Brothers.  While the film feels similar to a film like “Burn After Reading,” the stylish fashions of Steven Soderbergh fit in surprisingly well.  The film’s quirks and comedic beats are as delicious as the trailers have suggested.  The film showcases a black comedic sensibility that keeps the viewer hooked nearly the entire time.  All in all, fun times are had and it will likely be something fun to revisit in the future.

The movie’s ensemble is one of the true highlights, as everyone embraces their character’s tics.  As the film teeters the line between ridiculous and generic screwball, the all-star cast dazzles to hilarious effect.  In particular, Adam Driver seems to most impress as the one-armed brother with a layer of tangible emotions bubbling in off-kilter manners.

Daniel Craig is having the time of his life in a role that may be his most impressive, while Channing Tatum continues to stretch himself as an actor, showing just as much ability in his dramatic tones versus his comedic.

Hilary Swank, in her very brief role, seems to be the most real and funny, as she shows the glimmers of her former two-time Oscar-winning self.

While its roller coaster of feelings walk through an array of differences, “Logan Lucky” feels cold, sad, and distant while just being simply charming.  The film does tend to feel a tad long, while taking certain liberties in the stories that don’t feel particularly satisfying. Halfway between “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths,” the light of “Logan Lucky” will sit comfortably.  It will have its admirers and equal amounts of detractors.

Logan Lucky” may not add up to a whole lot for cinematic history, but Soderbergh makes these weird, fun small-timers great to spend a few hours with.  The Golden Globes should feel so lucky to embrace something like this.

“Logan Lucky” is distributed by Bleecker Street and opens in theaters on Aug. 18.

GRADE: (★★★)

And be sure to check the Oscar Predictions to see where “LOGAN LUCKY” ranks.

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LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING |
MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |

  • Joey Magidson

    It’s a really fun movie. Definitely more suited for the Globes than Oscar though.