Usually when I write something about a film that has already been reviewed (you can read an earlier review here), I just provide some thoughts but I felt like I needed to do more.
Synopsis: Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. (eOne Films)
Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig
Writer: Rebecca Blunt
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (USA)
Running Time: 119 minutes
For showtimes and more, check out Logan Lucky on movietimes.com.
Watching the trailers, it was easy to get the impression that this would be like director Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans 11 series, with the film getting the nickname of Redneck Oceans 11, and this may have set some unrealistic expectations for this. They are heist films but the similarities end there. Looking to reverse their family misfortune, a pair of brothers named Jimmy (Tatum) and Clyde (Driver) Logan decide to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca Cola 600.
As mentioned, with the nickname of Redneck Oceans 11, or even Oceans 7/11, there was a lot of Southern going on. While it easily could have been caricaturish, the setting and those within it added some much needed charm to help elevate the relatively unoriginal story. There was a lot going on with the brothers, mostly Jimmy, in their lives but none of it really mattered in the grand scheme of the film other than setting the scene and establishing the stakes. Whether or not these were actually stakes was debatable because of the lack of character development.
The lack of impact did not diminish the fun to be had here as the plotting was still compelling to watch. Some may find it all unrealistic but being who they were made their various plans more fun to watch and were partially enabled by others in a kind of funny way that fit with the setting. The setting was the source of a lot of Southern humor that hit more than it missed although it depends more on how the viewer relates to Southern culture as it perhaps appeals more to the latter.
Some may find the film slightly too long, clocking in at just under 2 hours, because it features a few superfluous characters, including a British race team owner named Max Chilblain (Seth MacFarlane) and his driver Dayton White (Sebastian Stan) and also an FBI agent tasked to investigate the robbery named Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank), and the ending lags. Not only does it lag, it starts to get slightly convoluted which tried to add some significance and only loses its impact as a result.
The acting was the best part of the film with Tatum, Driver, Craig, and the great chemistry between the three being the standout. Tatum and Driver were both very believable as brothers and Southerners with their accents and their many quirks. While the three were great, the best was Craig in a much different role as the demolition expert Joe Bang. Craig stole many scenes and looked like he was having a blast in the role thanks to his cartoonish Southern accent.
Overall, this was a good heist comedy that doesn’t exactly revolutionize the genre, not that it should. While the film needed more character development and the ending lags, it was still very fun to watch thanks to its Southern setting and great performances.