After a four-year retirement, Steven Soderbergh returned to the director’s chair for Logan Lucky, but his biggest influence for this film was himself.
Logan Lucky, a heist film taking place during the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. is strikingly similar to one of Soderbergh’s previous (and probably most famous) film, Ocean’s Eleven. Everything from the plot to the ensemble cast carries the same vibe that Soderbergh brought in 2001 and with it taking place in the rural south as opposed to glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Logan Lucky it literally the poor man’s equivalent of Ocean’s Eleven.
Because of this, Logan Lucky can’t get out of Ocean’s Eleven’s shadow. It doesn’t offer anything you haven’t seen before, Channing Tatum is George Clooney, Adam Driver is Brad Pitt and Seth McFarlane is Andy Garcia (although he doesn’t own the Charlotte Motor Speedway). The motley crew of an unemployed miner (Tatum), disabled veteran (Driver), prison inmate (Daniel Craig), hairdresser (Riley Keough) and nitwits (Jack Quaid and Brandon Gleeson) exploit a security flaw at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the biggest event of the year to rob them without being noticed and while the payout may not be as big as a Vegas casino, it’s more than enough for everyone to bring home a big payday.
That being said, this film isn’t without amusing scenes. Craig and Driver need to be broken out of prison and somehow convince the entire prison population to cover for them by staging a riot while the Warden’s pride allows them to create an alibi. Quaid and Gleeson also perform admirably as Joe Bang’s (Craig) nitwit brothers who are taking this job based on their loose morals, even if they are essentially Casey Affleck and Scott Caan.
For the most part, the acting is good. Channing Tatum has gotten by over the year due to his good looks and charisma, but his acting ability is underrated and it is put on full scale in this film, as is Driver’s. The one knock, however, is the poor southern drawl exhibited by Craig (who is British) and Katie Holmes.
At it’s best, Logan Lucky, much like nearly every summer film released in 2017, is mildly entertaining, but lacks the punch to make it much more than a popcorn flick. You’ll be entertained, and will chuckle here and there, but nothing much more.
The most interesting aspect of the film, however, isn’t even the film itself, but instead the mystery surrounding the credited writer of the film, who may not even exist.