Director: Steven Soderbergh
When Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is let go from his job, faced with the prospect of his daughter moving to another state, he resolves to pull off a heist with his brother, Clyde (Adam Driver). In doing so he hopes that success will put to rest any suggestion of a curse upon the Logan siblings. Jimmy and Clyde enlist the help of the currently incarcerated Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his brothers. The plan is to break Joe out and then head to the North Carolina NASCAR race and relieve them of the cash takings from the day’s attendees. It sounds simple and yet that’s usually the word used to describe the Logan brothers and surely it can’t all go to plan can it?
It’s a good cast, scratch that, it’s an excellent cast which is why when we get to the film itself it just exacerbates the disappointment. Tatum and Driver are perfectly cast for the roles of the Logan Brothers. They project their hillbillyish personas with excellent delivery. This role for Daniel Craig is his “as you’ve never seen him before” performance. To be fair, that could just mean he isn’t playing James Bond. It’s not that he does anything wrong, more that the only thing that stands out is his bleach blonde hair. He’s lively enough but he’s nowhere near as outrageous as the film would like you to think. Seth MacFarlane’s role is a little less seen and is probably one of his more forgettable on-screen appearances. The same can be said for Hilary Swank as the investigating FBI officer who only appears right at the closing acts of the film.
So what went wrong? As already touched upon, you have a great cast here and a very respectable director in Steven Soderbergh so this should have been all it promised to be which, in my opinion, was a cracking comedy heist caper. That’s what the trailer suggested it would be but Logan Lucky is another one of those films that the trailer promised some things that the film just did not deliver. To be more specific, if you removed the words cracking and comedy from a cracking comedy heist caper then you get a lot closer to what this movie actually is. The film barely raises any kind of real laughs and only the faintest of sniggers at anything remotely funny. Now we’ve established that it really isn’t offering anything worthy of the comedy tag let’s get onto what remains, the heist caper. That IS what remains, a heist caper. So how does it perform in that genre? Competently is the kindest word I can use to describe it. What it gives you is an Ocean’s movie if Danny’s team were all hillbillies in North Carolina. It’s structure is exactly the same just with slightly different locations, situations and patsys. It’s runs exactly by the numbers of an Ocean’s movie. Of course, this shouldn’t be surprising as Soderbergh is responsible for all three of those movies. All he’s done here is resprayed the car. I’m not telling you this film is awful, it isn’t, but what I am saying is that it’s another that does not do what is says on the tin.
The verdict: 2.5/5 Stars: Oceans 14 with hillbillies