“Logan Lucky” stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan, Hilary Swank, and Daniel Craig. Released on August 18, 2017, the film is about a group of siblings who plan on robbing the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The film is directed by Steven Soderbergh, who also directed films such as Ocean’s Eleven, Contagion, Magic Mike, and Side Effects. After a brief retirement from feature filmmaking, Soderbergh is making a comeback with a new heist film…that involves the world of NASCAR. While I have little to no history with the acclaimed director, I was interested in seeing it because of its concept and the all-star cast. Not only was this his first film in four years, but it also marks Soderbergh’s first attempt to distribute it on his own, hence his new studio, Fingerprint Releasing. It was an interesting maneuver, but will it be enough to pull this heist off in terms of execution?
If you’re familiar with Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Trilogy, you may have noticed that he’s no stranger with the heist genre, and it shows. The story is pretty simple, but it’s also filled with dialogue-driven scenes that are both smartly written and interesting. It’s one of those types of films that you got to pay attention to in order to figure out what’s going on. Soderbergh offered a type of heist film that’s very mild to the touch while also expressing characters that are very fun to watch, and for the most part, he did a really good job at telling me this kind of story. But, in terms of its execution, it can also be his downfall if he’s planning on luring in those who wanted a fast-paced, action-packed heist film that’s in the same veins as the Fast and the Furious films. For starters, the pacing in the film was pretty uneven. The first act took a while to get itself going, but it got a little better for me as the film went on. It still has its slow moments, but it doesn’t get to the point where it becomes dull. Even though the entire heist sequence was nicely directed and respectively entertaining, it did manage to be a little too safe due to its lack of thrills. Nevertheless, Soderbergh was able to play with his strengths to keep his film revving, such as the talented cast and its superb cinematography. Channing Tatum and Adam Driver were great together as Jimmy and Clyde, respectively, but I have to give credit to Daniel Craig, who turned in one of his most unique and enjoyable performances in his career as Joe Bang. It was highly unusual that he would play a character like Joe, but he managed to pull it off with flawless results. The cinematography by Peter Andrews was also flawless for capturing every action and every confrontation between the characters with ease without the use of heavy editing.
Overall, while it’s not the greatest heist film in history, “Logan Lucky” manages to pull this heist off easily while also providing the unique storytelling that Soderbergh is known for. While the film’s uneven pacing and the lack of some high-stakes thrills may keep some people away, its talented cast, some fun characters, and its flawless cinematography are enough to lure in those who are familiar with Soderbergh’s filmography. This is probably something that I would watch again at home, but I can see why some people like his work that much.