Logan Lucky. A Review
I have often said that if they made fifty more Oceans Eleven movies I would see them all with a smile on my face. In an age when we have 9 Fast and Furious Movies and an entire Conjuring universe I don't think it's much of a stretch. We even can just CGI all the actors in and pump out ensemble Vegas heist movies for years (hopefully they learned from Oceans 12 that leaving Sin City is a bad choice). While we wait for Oceans 8 to bring us back to that universe we get Lucky Logan, which is probably about as close to an Oceans 14 as we are ever going to get.
Director Steven Soderbergh makes his return to the big screen after a few years absence and that is not the only comparison to be made between his biggest hits and Logan Lucky. Soderbergh has once again amassed a cast of big name stars to carry out his down south heist movie but he also keeps the lighthearted whitty comedic tone that makes Oceans 11 so much fun to re watch. Soderbergh's ability to get great people together and get a fun idea onto the screen is his greatest achievement here. Lucky Logan lacks some of the style that made Soderbergh as well known as he is, but the more natural nature of the movie allows him a bit of lackluster visuals and transitions.
One of the more interesting things about Logan Lucky is it's writer Rebecca Blunt. This is her first credit of any kind on IMDb and she has not done any press or interviews for this movie. Some believe Blunt to be a psudonym for Soderbergh himself as he has done this in the past, but his stance stays firm that Blunt is a real person and has just been working on her next project. These days it's pretty difficult to stay completely off the internet and the attraction of the unknown is even more interesting than ever.
Whatever the case may be, the diolague in Logan Lucky is sharp as an edge and while there are problems with the characters and plot that I will get into later, whoever it is that wrote this movie has the talky parts down. There are moments that are Terrantino-esque in the way that you can tell that when these characters meet on screen it is not the first time. Part of the southern charm are small towns where everybody knows everybody. I can't say for sure but a lot of the small details like this feel like they were at least brought up in the script. Really the first half of the movie is almost perfectly written save for some pacing problems, but it is the second half where Logan Lucky starts to hit the breaks.
Before I get to the problems of the third act I want to address the issues I brought up in the earlier paragraph. Firstly while the cast is fantastic and everyone from Channing Tatum to Dwight Yoakem is great in the movie, the characters they play leave something to be desired. Part of the reason I love Edgar Wright's Baby Driver are the vibrant characters. Every one of them brings something different thematically and visually and Lucky Logan fails to succeed in the same way. While Baby Driver feels less grounded tonally which allows for more eclectic characters, Lucky Logan does not make up for its more grounded feel with a plus plot.
To go along with some poor pacing through almost the entire movie, the plot of Logan Lucky slowly begins to fall apart the more complicated the events become. Things take a while to build and get going but the set up is mostly enjoyable, once we get into the thick of the movie it slows down to a halt and build up of tension is quickly dispersed. Once the story starts to twist is when I think the movie almost completely loses the audience and there are too many things set up that do not get satisfying pay offs.
Let's get back to some positives, I mentioned the cast earlier but they really deserve their own paragraph. Channing Tatum stars and what a wonderful actor he has turned into. Tatum has shown that he can play the leading man but in Logan Lucky he shows he can act with heart. Adam Driver may have the most fully realized character in the entire movie and Lil Vader knocks it out of the park. Probably the most interesting character both because of the actor and his role in the movie is Daniel Craig as Joe Bang. While it takes a little time to get used to James Bond in prison with a southern American accent it quickly becomes a joy to watch Craig step out of his comfort zone and get to play someone so wacky.
It may seem like I have a lot of negatives about Lucky Logan but I truly did enjoy it. Even with a lack of real action scenes and stakes the overall product is really fun and enjoyable. The mostly bland characters are made up for by the great cast and the shotty plot and pacing is almost forgotten because of the great dialogue. It may have been unfair to have such lofty expectations for Lucky Logan, I did not know much about it both on purpose and because of a good job by the marketing team of not spoiling much of the movie in the trailers.
Logan Lucky reminds me of a movie that came out at almost the same time of the summer last year, and that movie is Hell or High Water. While almost completely different in every way tonally, stylistically and visually both movies were solid releases that were snuck in at the end of the summer. Hell or High Water just missed my top 10 movies of last year and while we have some time left to go in this year Lucky Logan feels like it may end up with the same fate. If you like movies this one will probably fill your two hours quite nicely while not fully crossing the finish line strong. If you don't like movies I can't imagine why you would be reading this in the first place but i appreciate your readership.