Monday, August 21, 2017

Movie Review: "Logan Lucky" (2017)

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Year: 2017
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes

The Logan brothers concoct a plan and gather a crew for a heist at a NASCAR speedway.

Director Steven Soderbergh is known for directing heist films, primarily "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's Twelve," and "Ocean's Thirteen." His latest venture into this genre is "Logan Lucky," which moves away from high-class targets like casinos and art galleries to something a little more blue collar: NASCAR. Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play Jimmy and Clyde Logan, a pair of southern brothers who devise a plan to rob a NASCAR speedway. Joining them are Riley Keough as their sister Mellie, Daniel Craig as explosives expert Joe Bang, and Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson as his brothers Fish and Sam Bang. All of these individuals make up Logan's crew, and each of them has a specific part to play in the rather complex robbery. Also in the film are Katie Holmes and Farrah Mackenzie as Jimmy's ex-wife Bobbi Jo and their daughter Sadie.

We really do dig a good heist movie. Whether it be the aforementioned "Ocean's" trilogy, "The Italian Job," "The Bank Job," or "The Inside Man," we love to watch the various stages of heists, from the planning to the execution and all of the drama that comes with a high-intensity situation like a robbery. We particularly love seeing if the crew can pull off their job, even though we know they probably will. The most important part of a film like this is its characters. It is important the cast has chemistry, and we need to be able to get invested in these individuals no matter which side of the law they operate. Luckily, we think the actors do a fine job in their respective roles. Channing Tatum has continuously grown as an actor over the years, and he has shown he has some pretty respectable comedic chops. We loved him in the "Jump Street" films, and he gets to continues his comedy streak here. We have always liked Adam Driver. He has built up his comedic abilities in independent comedies, roles which typically deal with more dry and ironic humor. Driver helps bring this witticism to a slightly more mainstream stage as the more level-headed of the two Logan brothers, though he is obsessed with what he thinks is a "Logan family curse." Riley Keough has been killing it lately, and though she doesn't get a whole heck of a lot to do, when she is utilized as Mellie, she's excellent. By far, the standout in this film is Daniel Craig, who moves about as far away from his role as James Bond as he could get. His portrayal of Joe Bang is outrageous, over the top, and goddamn hilarious. Craig still brings his signature charisma with him, and we really loved his ridiculous performance.

The story may be a bit formulaic and is relatively similar to what we have seen in Soderbergh's previous heist films, but this neat, absurd cast of characters and a unique setting gives "Logan Lucky" just enough of a twist to feel new. It has a fantastic cast, a great director, and is a really, really, really good movie that deserves to be seen in the theater. It's sweet, stupid, funny, and a barrel of fun.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~93%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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