Movie Review: “Logan Lucky”
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is a father with joint custody of his daughter. While his ex has married a rich car salesman, Jimmy Logan is struggling to make ends meet at his construction job. At least he was struggling until the construction company decided to let him go due to his "pre-existing condition" which was his limp. Now he has no income. Jimmy is fed up, and decides he is going to recruit his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) to rob the site of the construction company's latest job, the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
However, they still have a problem. Jimmy knows how to get them to the vault, but they will need a specialist to get them inside. That brings them to a vault and explosives expert, current convict Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). Joe Bang wants in, but he has only a few months left of his sentence, and he has no intention of ruining that. Thus, the brothers will have to break Joe out of prison, get him to the vault, get the money from inside, escape Charlotte Motor Speedway, and get Joe Bang back into prison without anyone noticing he was gone. What could possibly go wrong?
The Pros & Cons
The Logans (+3pts)
The Plan (-8pts)
Joe Bang (+8pts)
The Bang Brothers (-4pts)
The Heist (+4pts)
Characters' Actions & The Aftermath (-5pts)
Pro: The Logans (+3pts)
I thought that these two characters, individually, were pretty boring and uninteresting, but for whatever reason, I enjoyed when they were on screen together. I thought that Channing Tatum and Adam Driver gave average performances, and their characters were mostly uninteresting, but when their characters shared the screen, it was a very different story. Their dynamic was one that was very fun to watch, which was a testament to how great the chemistry was between the two actors. I bought that they were brothers, and I enjoyed watching all of their interactions with one another. I just wish the filmmakers had made the characters more interesting individually.
Con: The Plan (-8pts)
I enjoyed the premise of this movie and the filmmakers did a decent job of setting it up. Unfortunately, the movie began falling apart when it came to the execution of the plan. The filmmakers did a decent job of setting up the characters and explaining their motivations. Then the story skipped over the formation of the plan and jumped right into when the characters beginning their heist. As a viewer, it made it feel like the characters were severely unprepared yet they kept popping up with the exact resources that they needed without any explanation as to how or why they acquired those resources in the first place. I definitely did not need a long, drawn out planning sequence, but the way the filmmakers structured the plot kept the viewer in the dark, and it made this heist a lot less suspenseful than it could have been.
Pro: Joe Bang (+8pts)
This was easily one of the most entertaining and most memorable parts of the movie. Daniel Craig became this character in a way that was so much fun to watch. This character was a silly nutjob with a badass attitude and a gift for science. That made for a very entertaining combination and it was even more entertaining to watch Daniel Craig in the role. He was a tough criminal, a lunatic, and a genius all wrapped up into one great character, and this movie was significantly better whenever he was on screen.
Con: The Bang Brothers (-4pts)
This movie had a plethora of random side characters. Some of them served the story, others did not. My issue was with the characters that did not serve the story. The first was a doctor named Sylvia (Katherine Waterston). She just kind of showed up and had no significant impact on the story or its conclusion. This made her nothing more than a waste of screentime.
Then there were Joe Bang's brothers. These two characters were completely unnecessary. They were forced into the heist per Joe Bang's request, but they did not bring any real contributions to the team or the execution of the heist. They also did not really add any conflict, which could have made things more unpredictable. I totally would have accepted these characters if the filmmakers got everything else right. If everything else about the movie worked, then there would not be anything wrong with spending screentime on unnecessary characters. Unfortunately, the filmmakers took focus away from crucial aspects of the story, and made those things feel undeveloped, all to add a couple of unnecessary side characters into the mix.
Pro: The Heist (+4pts)
With all my issues with the movie leading up to this point, I was both interested and entertained as soon as the group got to the vault. I enjoyed seeing how they handled the complex tube system, and I enjoyed seeing how they planned to get the money out. The characters were all anxious, which made me anxious—in a good, suspenseful sort of way—and it was fun to watch all of these characters interacting with each other in that intensity. Their unique personalities clashed and it made for an entertaining climax for this movie.
Con: The Aftermath (-5pts)
My next major issue with this movie was with the aftermath of the heist. Did the group of protagonists get out with the money? Were they able to get Joe Bang back into prison without getting caught? Well I certainly have no intention of spoiling anything, but I thought the way the filmmakers followed through with everything was kind of a disappointment.
I started by excitedly and hopefully thinking they might be able to pull it off, then I switched to having no idea why characters were doing what they were doing (thinking that their were acting in a self-destructive manner), then I flopped back to thinking what they were doing made sense. In the end, what the characters did makes sense, but as it was happening, the filmmakers left the audience in the dark yet again. This made things in the ending feel random, and made me feel like the characters were making terrible decisions before eventually having it all make sense. It made me feel somewhat disconnected with what was happening, and I ended up being not very invested in it as a result of that.
Grade: C- (73pts)
Logan Lucky had an interesting premise. A few guys decided to rob a vault located in the Charlotte Motor Speedway, because of their hardships and their access to the construction area located at the venue. I thought the filmmakers setup everything well. We got the motives, the introduction of Joe Bang, and we got an appreciation for the difficulty of the heist that our characters were trying to pull off. Joe Bang was a very entertaining character, who served as one of the highlights of the movie, and the Logans were entertaining when they were on screen together.
Unfortunately, I thought the movie fell apart when it came to the plan itself. The protagonists' plan was way more complex than you would think it would be, but the audience was in the dark for all of it. This just left me confused and uninformed. Despite that, the movie was able to recapture my interest as soon as the crew got to the vault, but the movie lost its momentum once again when it came to decisions that characters made in the aftermath of this story. This movie had an interesting premise, and I enjoyed seeing Daniel Craig in this role, but I thought it could have been a lot better than it was, and was somewhat of a disappointment. I would only recommend watching this one if you can find absolutely nothing better.