Going into Logan Lucky, I was torn. Steven Soderbergh has had a lot of highly rated movies that I never got around to seeing such as The Informant!, Contagion, Haywire, Side Effects and a handful of others. Then there are the good to decent ones like Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Thirteen or Magic Mike that I have seen. Lately his name seems to be attached to a lot of projects that are all over the place, most of which I couldn’t care less to see. The cast of Logan Lucky is fantastic and I have always been a sucker for a heist movie. So, with that said … how does it rate in my opinion?
I give it 5 “heist diarahmas” out of 10.
As you will notice, this will be a fairly short review since there isn’t much to say without spoiling it. Then again, I don’t have much to say about it either way.
FOR THE UNITIATED
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is a good ole boy in West Virginia who cannot seem to catch a break. He gets fired from his construction job to a preexisting condition and misses his daughter’s beauty pageant, causing his ex-wife Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes) to be more upset than usual. He catches the same anger from his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and then defends his one armed brother Clyde (Adam Driver) from bullying. At this point he yells out “caulliflower” which is code for felony level mischief as we come to find out. The plan is to rob the bank vault at the Charlotte Motor Speedway using the construction tunnels he assisted with before getting fired. They hire Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) as their explosives expert, except the issue is Joe is currently in prison. This is where the “heist” picks up.
The banter makes the movie. Jimmy is smarter than he has any right to be and plays dumb just to get his daughter riled up. Jimmy’s banter with his brother is equally charming. It was very reminiscent of a Coen brothers movie since almost every line is sharp and matches with the perfect amount of physical comedy. Everything goes just right until it doesn’t, but of course the errors don’t give you reason to fear for the main characters since it adds to the comedy.
The worst part of this heist movie is the lack of action and seeing actual heist planning. Personally speaking, I like to see all of the planning that goes into the heist. Normally there is planning, something goes wrong, more planning, something else goes wrong, and then everything has to spring into action suddenly. Some of this is in Logan Lucky, except the actual planning. There is one hiccup in the plan, but it is more of the time line. As far as the lack of action goes, it just seems that nothing happens. You can tell that the plot is progressing, but it is more of the director putting puzzle pieces on the table just so you can see what went where by the end. Some heist movies survive off the geniusness of the plans and how they work, you get to see everything fits together. The others let you see only what they want you to see and show you the finished product with a quick montage of what you missed … this is what Logan Lucky was.
It is a very fun and entertaining movie to watch thanks completely to the dialogue. So this movie ends up being skin deep at best. Very similar to a bad Coen brothers movie, it is witty enough to laugh at throughout but by the end of the movie you realize how unrealistic everything was before it starts to fade from your memory. If you liked Ocean’s Eleven, then you will possibly like this one and you can see it when your calendar has an opening. Otherwise, wait until it is cheap and there isn’t something more pressing.
A better less traditional heist movie is Inception. It isn’t a movie you watch once and forget about it, more along the lines of having to watch it multiple times to act like you know what is going on. The confusing plot isn’t a hindrance as much as a challenge. You get to see everything going on and try to figure out what goes where. Not only that, but it is Christopher Nolan working alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and several other big names.