I caught the trailer for Channing Tatum and Adam Driver’s Logan Lucky several months back and thought to myself: “This was gonna be fun.” I didn’t see the flick during its regular movie screening but when I did manage to catch up on it, I gave myself a great big pat on the back for getting it right. It was indeed, fun.
Synopsis: After blowing his leg and his chances to play for the NFL, former high school quarterback Jimmy Logan lives his life taking on blue collar labor and getting to see his daughter on the weekends. As unlucky as Jimmy was, he has an equally unlucky brother Clyde who lost his hand while he was enlisted in the army. After Jimmy loses his job at the construction crew of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, he gets an idea and devises a plan to divert the cash being transported via pneumatic tubes and stage one of the biggest heists in the history of Charlotte.
At first glance, Logan Lucky seems like the Hillbilly version of Ocean’s Eleven, with the ringleader Jimmy devising the entire plot of the complicated heist all by his lonesome. He also builds up a motley crew of petty criminals which includes his explosives guy Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his two brothers, his brother Clyde and his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and some inmates who provide the distraction. While Danny Ocean was very thorough and detailed in his planning, his hillbilly counterpart seemed to be less attentive to the details but has the entire thing mapped out in his mind. However, he was very thorough which made audiences understand that there was more to Jimmy than meets the eye.
Fans will get a kick to know that while the formula seems familiar, so is the director. Ocean’s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh also takes the helm of this heist movie so he is more than familiar with the perfect execution of this genre.
Credit to the cast of this movie. I’ve seen Channing in a lot of different roles and as always, he brings something new to his portrayal of Jimmy Logan. I loved Adam Driver’s portayal of Clyde, the quiet little brother who remained loyal to his brother through his rise, fall and subsequent break. I loved how they used the code word kaw-li-flowah (cauliflower), a completely neutral and unrelated word as their signal for mischief. Daniel Craig’s Joe Bang was just the right amount of nuts and brilliant and was really fun to watch because it was just too different from his usual roles.
There were also cameos and small roles from other big name actors like Katie Holmes as Jimmy’s ex-wife, Seth McFarlane as the obnoxious pseudo celebrity Max Chiblain and Sebastian Stan as eccentric race car driver Dayton White. Oscar winner Hillary Swank also takes on the character of FBI agent Grayson who appears towards the end of the film. However, most of these roles don’t really contribute much overall to the film and appear only to humor the fans with the amount of starpower in this film. That being said, the film didn’t fall into the ensemble trap that often trips up all star casts.
All in all, I liked the Hillbilly touch to the movie and how strong the characterization was for the main cast. Their plot seemed simple and complicated at the same time and makes one root for the success blue collar little guys who manage to pull off a scheme of this magnitude. It was’t as intense as other heist movies but it held its own in the genre. There was no need for villains or other family issues, just a good old fashioned heist brilliantly executed, filled with tons of good humor and its fair share of mishaps. Plus, Sadie’s surprise for her daddy at the pageant really got me to tear up. Awww!