By Ryan Keating-Lambert
Director Steven Soderbergh makes a decent return to the heist genre with this lovable hick comedy that’s very much Ocean’s 11 meets Dukes of Hazzard.
The Logan brothers Jimmy and Clyde (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) attempt to end their streak of bad luck and plan a massive heist at the NASCAR speedway in North Carolina, with the help of their sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and demolitions expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig).
Soderbergh, the king of ’90s indie cinema, has delivered a funny and entertaining romp with a whole lot of heart. Standing out among the usual heist movie tropes of double-crosses and witty one-liners is Channing Tatum’s loving father figure and brother. Adam Driver is also fantastic as the one-armed ex-army vet, and can poor a hell of a drink, but one of the major standouts is Daniel Craig as Joe Bang. Completely transformed by his bleach blonde hair and gallery of terrible tattoos, Craig is barely recognisable compared to his usual Bond.
Like Craig’s character, Soderbergh turns the hick up to the max in every way here, right down to little Sadie Logan’s beauty pageant and the toilet seat throwing at the local county fair. It’s an overly exaggerated look at the stereotypes of the south, and this all-star cast has a lot of fun with it. It’d be interesting to get a look at some of the behind-the-scenes action when the film’s released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Soderbergh traditionally likes carving up the conventional timeline to make something a little more puzzling and ambiguous, and Logan Lucky is no exception. The film’s third act is an unpredictable one and slightly drawn out. It could have benefited from one final injection of humour and southern quirk.
Still, Logan Lucky is an excellent return to a genre that Soderbergh is so comfortable with, and luckily, an end to the director’s brief ‘retirement’.