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Logan Lucky - Movie Review

4 stars

The name is Bang.  Joe Bang.  And, given the chance, he could seriously ROCK your world with one explosion after the other.  He is also merely one in a canvas of eccentric characters that makes Logan Lucky, written and directed by Steven Soderbergh (The Informant and Ocean’s 11, 12, 13), a certifiable blast to watch unfold and expand across a really large screen.

Racers!  Start your engines!  It might be a few weeks shy of a more profitable calendar date (as school is DEFINITELY back in session), but Logan Lucky is a VERY amusing and wholly satisfying summer heist movie.  It is also one of the few movies that can bring NASCAR to life for this reviewer. 

Logan Lucky is also the film in which director Steven Soderbergh comes ROARING back with after a not-so-quiet retirement from making movies.  Gone, though, are the smooth white-collar criminals in his successful run of Ocean’s movies.  This time, we get a heist picture for the angry amateur in us all.  And, as this is a tale of the Have-Nots mounting a financial comeback of sorts, it can’t help but comment on the politics of the today’s fractured world.

Coal miner Jimmy Logan (Tatum Channing) can’t seem to catch a break.  He’s a hard worker and he loves his daughter, Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie) like no other, even though he has to bring her back home to his ex (Katie Holmes) and her nut of a husband (David Denman).  And the two of them can’t seem to stop from getting filthy stinking rich.  Their continued financial success in the face of his dirt-poor reality is enough to drive a man to drink. 

Which is what Jimmy does at the local dive where his brother, Clyde (a very stoic Adam Driver) slings beer.  Clyde lost his arm during his second tour of duty in Iraq, but that awkward prosthetic hasn’t slowed him from his bartending; it’s just left him with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  Throw in their sister Mellie (Riley Keough), who is easily the most effective sibling, and you have the core members of Jimmy’s team of low-down robbers.

You see, Jimmy has a doozy of a plan with which to get rich by.  It involves a rather complicated and wholly necessary series of events to come together involving a location that our lovable loser knows oh so well.  And it’s got a lot of moving parts…like NASCAR itself.  And he needs the expertize that only a friend like Mr. Bang (Daniel Craig) can provide.  But he’s still in jail, with five months left to serve.  He’s certainly not going to risk it.  Or is he?

You might be surprised. 

While stylistically not as slick and rapid-fire as Danny Ocean and his gang of thieves, Logan Lucky does manage to pull off a hilarious and intense caper thanks to Jimmy’s natural charm and, as the title suggests, a bit of dumb luck.  He’s in over his head when he discovers a packed NASCAR event awaits them.  With the FBI hot on their trail, even he doesn't realize just how far below the surface he has dipped.  All of this increases the fun of the movie.

Written by Rebecca Blunt (possibly a pseudonym for…?) and featuring cameos from Seth MacFarlane and Hilary Swank as well as several NASCAR drivers, Logan Lucky serves up a Memorial Day worth remembering as the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina gets robbed by the anti-Oceans gang.    There’s no fancy tech, no money, and definitely no fancy clothes.  Challenges abound and the risk is high, but Soderbergh – who shot, directed, and edited the movie – keeps it highly entertaining. 

The homegrown heist in Logan Lucky is solid as hell.


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Logan Lucky - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some crude comments.
119 mins
: Steven Soderbergh
Rebecca Blunt
Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig
: Comedy | Crime
See How The Other Half Steals
Memorable Movie Quote: "Is it twenty or is it thirty?... We are dealing with science here!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Bleecker Street Media
Official Site: www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com/loganlucky
Release Date:
August 18, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: In this turbocharged heist comedy from Academy Award®-winning director Steven Soderbergh, West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) leads his one-armed brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough) in an elaborate scheme to rob North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway. To help them break into the track’s underground cash-handling system, Jimmy recruits volatile demolition expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). Further complicating the already risky plan, a scheduling mix-up forces the thieves to execute the job during the Coca-Cola 600, the track’s most popular NASCAR event of the year. As they attempt to pull off the ambitious robbery, the down-on-their-luck Logans face a final hurdle when a relentless FBI agent (Hilary Swank) begins investigating the case.


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Logan Lucky - Movie Review