#REVIEW: “LOGAN LUCKY”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Legendary Oscar-winning Director Steven Soderbergh “retired” from directing after 2013’s twisted Side Effects. After dabbling with television for a few years, he has returned to feature films with this weekend’s Logan Lucky. And while many predicted he would eventually return, I doubt anyone would thought it would be with this Film.
The Logan brothers, Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver), never fulfilled the potential of their youth. They are both disabled, live in a trailer together, and do not have a lucrative future outlook. This changes when Jimmy gets the idea for a heist during one of the biggest NASCAR races of the year. But they will need the help of explosives expert and current convict Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to pull it off.
We could have used a Movie like Logan Lucky earlier in this summer of constant disappointments. Soderbergh and Screenwriter Rebecca Blunt (who may or may not be a pseudonym for Soderbergh himself) have crafted a ridiculously fun Heist Film in the vein of Ocean’s Eleven – or “Ocean’s 7-11″ as one reporter quips during the Film. The Film is eccentric to say the least, but it is deeply-hilarious and a lot smarter than you might assume. While it gets pretty clever in its Third Act, it could have used some trimming to help with its erratic pacing. This is only a minor quibble however – you will want to spend as much time as you can with the Logans and their associates.
Despite the abundance of characters, there is not one weak link amongst the cast – just about everyone gets a moment to shine, no matter how preposterous their southern accents quickly become. Tatum continues to impress and prove his range as a comedic actor, and Driver’s trademark intensity makes his character’s actions and dialogue even stronger (especially when it involves his poorly made wooden arm). Soderbergh regular Riley Keough holds her own as the Logan’s sister Mellie – even with her outrageous wardrobe selections – and Katie Holmes really bites into her thankless role as Jimmy’s ex-wife Bobbie Jo. Supporting turns from Jack Quaid, Brian Gleeson, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakum, the adorable Farrah Mackenzie, an especially hammy Seth MacFarlane and Oscar-winner Hilary Swank are all very well done.
But the real standout is Craig, who plays decidedly against type as Joe Bang. There’s a reason the Film playfully adds “Introducing Daniel Craig” into the credits and marketing – this performance is unlike anything we have ever seen from him. Joe Bang is the very definition of trash — he sports a bleached-blonde crew cut, multiple tattoos and a nearly indecipherable southern accent. But Craig never lets these elements get in the way of his performance. They simply add to how magnificent it quickly becomes. He gets the best lines in the Movie and has a ludicrous amount of reckless fun doing everything Soderbergh asks. The energy he brings to each scene easily elevates the Film from simply being good to being the last must-see Movie of the Summer.
Logan Lucky is consistently entertaining and a whole lot of fun from start to finish. While it has issues with pacing, it is a great return to form for Soderbergh and a terrific acting showcase for all of the talent involved. And if he can ever match the zaniness of Joe Bang again, Craig may have quite the comedic future ahead of him after Bond.
eOne Films release LOGAN LUCKY on Friday, August 18, 2017.