It’s a little slow to kick in, but director Stephen Soderberg’s latest heist flick, Logan Lucky, Ocean’s 11 (or 12 or 13) for the redneck set, is a rollicking, spinning ride. Straddling North Carolina and West Virginia, the film follows down-on-his-luck Jimmy Logan (a winning Channing Tatum, who has inexplicably become a strong comedic presence), who cooks up a scheme to rob the vault at a major Nascar race. He enlists the aid of his brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), a one-armed er one-handed vet bartender, and Mellie, (Riley Keough), their baby-sister driver. They also secure the talents of local criminal Joe Bang (a delightful Daniel Craig) and his dimwitted brothers.
The movie is fun, even if it plays out exactly as expected. Things don’t go wrong enough. The social dynamics between Jimmy and those around him aren’t that deep, and his family problems don’t seem that insurmountable. As far as Soderbergh goes, this is just behind Ocean’s 11 in terms of exhilarating fun, and below most of his more thoughtful work (Traffic, Erin Brockovich, The Limey, Out of Sight). That said, still a good and enjoyable flick, just not something with any urgency or lasting impression.
A lot of actors pop in with diminishing results. Katherine Waterston, unfortunately still sporting her Alien Covenant haircut, is a charming blip. Hillary Swank grumbles along tensely in the last five minutes. Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Sebastian Stan, and Dwight Yoakam are all there for a scene or two. MacFarlane seemingly in a much broader movie than everyone else. The movie is like Soderbergh channeling Coen brothers, but to smaller effect.
My Grade – B-