Logan Lucky (2017) – Review

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes

The Overview
Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. (Source: IMDb)

The Good
Unlike many who have a real affinity to Steven Soderbergh’s work, I can take or leave it. Controversially I think the Oceans trilogy is a little overrated, and I’d chalk Magic Mike as a guilty pleasure if I believed in such things, but I never feel guilt for the movies I like! Logan Lucky marks Soderbergh’s return to directing after his short-lived retirement and the trailer promised the sort of ridiculous heist caper that people know and love him for, and an A-list cast including Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and an almost unrecognisable Daniel Craig.

Ladies and gentlemen, loyal blog readers, I think we’ve finally made it to 2017’s “film everyone apart from Sarah seems to like” – and there was me thinking that it would be a one-two punch of Kingsman movies taking that title (verdict on the sequel still to come!) – but we’ll get to that in a little bit.

There’s much to like in this film, and I don’t doubt that the majority of people will get a kick out of it, but for me the only saving grace of this film was the cast. Working with Soderbergh once again, Channing Tatum is on fine form, although I think it is impossible for him to be anything other than charming and incredibly likeable. He and Adam Driver make up the Logan brothers and together they have great onscreen chemistry. Polar opposites in terms of personality, with Tatum being the more expressive of the pair, and Driver playing his somewhat trademark somberness to perfection, they’re an unlikely duo but instantly likeable and watchable.

As “in-car-cer-a-ted” explosives expert, Joe Bang, Daniel Craig plays a caricature in every sense of the word, and is about as far away from Bond as you can get. Proving he does have some comedic chops, its nice to see Craig branching out a little bit, and I just hope he has some longevity beyond Bond, and continues to seek out roles which perhaps put him a little out of his comfort zone. She is vastly underused but Riley Keough is also great; she first came to my attention in the exceptional American Honey and I’ll definitely be watching her next move with great interest.

The middle “heist” section of this movie undoubtedly had its funny moments, but it felt like too little to late, with the rest of the film being surprisingly dull and uninspired. 

The Bad

Maybe heist movies just aren’t for me, but I borderline hated this film. It failed to make the most of its cast, instead giving in to crude and largely unfunny stereotypes, an uninspired plot, a dull script, and a pace that seemed to be moving so slowly it was practically going backwards.

A heist film has to have a certain about of danger, thrill and excitement about it, however Logan Lucky never even feels close to this point. The characters never feel in danger, the story is never captivating enough, and crucially there is never any doubt that they will pull off the heist. It is so lacking in anticipation that it just ends up feeling painfully slow and dull; genuinely I thought the film was done when it was about an hour in, and there was still just under an hour to go.

A film about a heist entertainingly dubbed as “the Hillbilly heist”, with this talent in front of and behind the camera, should never be this terrible, and it is a thoroughly disappointing effort.

The Verdict
I saw this movie so you don’t have to. I don’t doubt that this film will find it’s audience, and perhaps it does fill the gap in the end-of-Summer movie bargain bin, but it wasn’t for me. A film with a subject matter this entertaining on paper should not be this dull in its execution, and it isn’t easy to pin down where exactly it went wrong. Boring, bland, and uninspired, Logan Lucky is one to skip.  

 

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