Steven Soderbergh returns with Logan Lucky, a stylish and laid-back heist comedy about robbing a NASCAR racetrack in West Virginia.
The film is similar to Soderbergh’s great caper Ocean’s Eleven from 2001, It’s funny and smart, although it maybe doesn’t deliver the sugar rush of excitement achieved by Danny Ocean and his crew.
Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play the unlucky Logan brothers, Jimmy and Clyde brilliantly. Jimmy just got unfairly fired from his construction job at the NASCAR track, where he figured out how to steal the money from all the concession stands and Clyde, who years before lost his hand serving in Iraq, tends a bar.
Set upon payback, Jimmy plans to rob his former employer, a job needing a ragtag crew including Clyde, his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and also a legendary explosives genius currently in jail, Joe Bang, played by Daniel Craig who steals every scene he is in.
There is pleasure in watching the robbery unfold. There is a method in some of Jimmy’s mad ways as he stays one step ahead of anyone trying to double-cross him.
But it also fails to make the most of a cast that includes an unamusing and out of his depth Seth MacFarlane, double Oscar-winner Hilary Swank as an FBI agent who is over the top in every scene she is in and Katherine Waterston who is literally just in three small scenes and makes no difference to the story.
Logan Lucky is a playful diversion that functions as the perfect complement to Hollywood summer spectacles. Soderbergh, for all of his perplexing career twists, remains a talented filmmaker with an instinctive gift for pacing and style. Cinephiles can rejoice that his self-imposed retirement seems to be over, even if he doesn’t push himself too hard in this modest return.
Logan Lucky 7/10