Movie Review: Logan Lucky’s Lots of Fun

Logan Lucky
Movie Review: Logan Lucky’s Lots of Fun
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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August is no stranger to quirky studio films, but the new crime comedy Logan Lucky is the most original and sincere movie this summer. It’s frantic, full, and incredibly amusing to watch. What else would you imagine from a blonde Daniel Craig robbing banks in the American South?

Master director Steven Soderbergh came out of retirement to lead the picture, and he’s no stranger to crime comedies. He did Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13 in addition to great, recent dramas like Contagion and Magic Mike.

Unlike his previous films, this one is far dirtier and more relaxed. Tonally, this is a noticeable new style from other spy and caper flicks. It’s more down to earth and rugged than cool and polished.

He announced his retirement from directing in 2013, but happily reversed the decision last year to make this artful, screwball story. Beyond his talent for handling star-studded ensembles and wildly creative premises, here Soderbergh also exercises a new modesty in his direction and editing.

And strangest of all, it’s more giddy and pleasant than the traditional laugh out loud funny. I only audibly laughed a few (well deserved) times, but I also couldn’t stop smiling the entire movie. It’s irresistibly compelling.

The heist plot follows unlucky brothers Jimmy and Clyde (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) planning to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. They may be simple-minded and modest blue collars from West Virginia, but with an eclectic crew of their country friends and B-list bandits, they attempt the most charming robbery in cinematic history.

Logan Lucky

Photo: Filmnation Entertainment.

Lucky is just as clever and sharp as Soderbergh’s other heist comedies, but it’s also slower paced and a little more convoluted. The film’s biggest weakness is the large number of interesting subplots and characters that are glossed over. Some are rushed through with only one scene in the entire movie.

It’s still enormously enjoyable, and much smarter than most blockbusters. The annoying breaks of a more emotionally satisfying story arc are easily overlooked by the unrelenting charisma of the actors.

The deftly coached ensemble cast displays extreme focus and delivers a master class in acting. Everyone on screen balances drama and comedy with ease, while also making fun, distinguished characters. Most of the familiar faces aren’t even recognizable, with a couple dazzling transformations.

A-list stars Tatum and Driver are easy winners, as is Daniel Craig’s portyal of explosives master Joe Bang. But surprises like Seth MacFarlane (yes, really) and Riley Keough are giving career best performances.

Soderbergh’s passion project at the speedway isn’t quite the seamlessly perfect summer adventure that many of his past works have been. That doesn’t make it any less fun, and his decades of experience writing tight comedies pays off big time.

The audiences who seeing Logan Lucky this weekend might be puzzled by the film’s peacefulness and subtle nature. But they’ll still be lucky audiences indeed.

Logan Lucky
2 1/2 out of 4 stars

PG, 119 minutes. Comedy Crime.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane and Hilary Swank.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill, and Cineplex Oakville and VIP.

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