Published On: Sun, Aug 13th, 2017

‘Logan Lucky’ Review: Steven Soderbergh returns with hillbilly heist film full of hijinks

Director Steven Soderbergh took a hiatus from making films, frustrated over the Hollywood process and now returns with an Ocean’s Eleven knock-off, Logan Lucky. The director’s resume of great films landed him an amazing cast, working at scale with back-end incentives: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam and Sebastian Stan.

Logan Lucky is set along the West Virginia-North Carolina border with two brothers, Jimmy (Tatum) and Clyde (Driver) hatching a scheme to steal the cash flooding into a NASCAR event: the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. Plagued with the “family curse,” Jimmy’s bad leg which ended his football aspirations, the demands of Jimmy’s daughter’s beauty contest and Clyde’s arm being blown off in Iraq, the duo seeks the help of “experts,” which include their sister (Keough) and Daniel Craig’s Joe Bang, an explosive expert.

The first challenge is Joe out of prison as the misfits use Joe’s half-witted brothers and a ton of small characters to devise their plan.

Soderbergh creates a very interesting playground with actors appearing to enjoy their pages in the script, stopping short of mocking Trump voters or seeming too belittling. Tons of characters are wasted (Holmes and Waterston in particular) as the romp speeds up. The jokes come and go, but never land a belly laugh.

Craig is a superstar and steals every scene for most of the film, but becomes a cardboard player at times as his “quirkiness” takes a back seat. The one-arm jokes, or efforts just never really his a home run.

Logan Lucky is good at a lot of things, but never great at anything. Quirky isn’t always funny, but some scenes work while others are flat. The twist at the end was great payoff to redeem the stereotype of these “hicks” as they may be perceived.

The script feels inspired by bad players from reality TV shows and the film drags a lot…too much. If this was the Hollywood machine, audiences would have characters presented with such warmth, fighting against their own stereotype. If the Coen Brothers made this film, it would have been a mess, cold and theatrical without love these real-life struggles.

Logan Lucky receives 3 out of 5 stars

It’s great to Soderbergh directing a feature film again and it was an even bigger role to learn “independent” the project was and how Hollywood may have really missed out. If others can be inspired by approach, funding lesser projects like this one, audiences will only benefit. If you are a fan of the Oceans franchise, you will like enjoy this redneck version, but the film is not for everyone.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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