Logan Lucky (2017)

logan-lucky-poster-2

  • Directed by Steven Soderbergh
  • Starring Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver
  • Written by Rebecca Blunt
  • Comedy, Crime
  • Rated PG-13
  • 119 mins.
  • 18 August 2017

Synopsis

When single father Jimmy Logan loses his job just before his ex-wife plans to move away with his daughter, he enlists the help of his one-armed bartender brother and a crazy convict acquaintance to pull off a heist and rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway in order to get the money he needs for a custody lawsuit.

How’s the Story?

The story for Logan Lucky is so refreshingly original and interesting that I’m actually amazed it didn’t suck. I say that because it could’ve easily been a movie that tried waaaayyy too hard, but instead it was just perfectly balanced and ultra enjoyable. All the moving pieces of this film work together so well that it feels like it should be a common trope film, not something very original and entertaining.

How’s the Acting?

The acting in this film is pretty spectacular, but what else could you expect from a film with Daniel Craig and Adam Driver both in it? Channing Tatum is the real standout in this film for me, though, and that’s because in my experience, Channing Tatums isn’t that good of an actor. He’s charming, he’s charismatic, he plays very ‘soft’ for such a big burly man, but while I always love him on my screen, I rarely think he’s a good actor. He’s usually just Channing Tatum in a movie.

However, in Logan Lucky, I don’t see Channing Tatum, I see Jimmy Logan. I’m not sure if it’s to be chalked up to the director, since I’m a big believer in the ‘a good director can turn anyone into an actor’ school of thought, but this is one of his best performances by far. It isn’t anything all that grand, Jimmy is a pretty simple character with no major ‘you have to act the hell out of this scene’ moments, but that’s probably what makes the performance so amazing: ‘normal’ acting is waaayyyy harder than ‘big’ acting. I used to be a stage actor, and let me tell you, playing ‘just a person’ is way harder than playing ‘a person dying bloody’ and things like that.

Channing Tatum manages to be just a West Virginia dad trying to do what he has to for his daughter in a way I never thought Channing Tatum could pull off.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

I loooove how this movie is written. The humor is consistent throughout and it’s always situational, not something forced into the script. By that, I mean that simple things are hilarious without it having to become a shtick. Things like, “Can you hand me my arm?” “This one?” ends up being hilarious. Also just the intricacy put into the heist was wonderful.

Side note, I looooved the inmates demands. That was such a funny choice. So good!

Also, for the record, I never expected this movie to make me cry, damn it! The relationship between Jimmy and his daughter is something so touching and without spoilers, I won’t say what, but the scene with the singing had me in tears, and I find that very rude, Mr. Soderbergh, because I DID NOT EXPECT THAT!

How’s the Cinematography?

While nothing stands out as groundbreaking, this movie did it’s job with cinematography. There was nothing out of place and the landscapes were very beautiful. I would say that the praise goes best to that, the choice of locations and how they’re shown on the screen. Otherwise, it’s good but nothing that will win any awards anytime soon.

Is It Worth Watching?

Logan Lucky was just as good as I ever hoped it could be. I absolutely recommend this movie for so many reasons. However, there are some small things that take away from an otherwise potentially top-10 film, and those are things most likely down to editing.

The movie has some threads of story that feel incomplete and I don’t really think they should have been there at all if they couldn’t expand on them further. The main one is the whole thing with the British guy and the racing team. It was amusing to have his whole rivalry with Clyde in there, but it didn’t really add anything to the movie. Same with including Sebastian Stan’s character, the race car driver. He didn’t really add anything to the movie. Another one is the doctor lady. Again, nothing that hurt the film, but it was something that didn’t add anything, so I feel like it was just unnecessary. All of these things, I feel, were probably meant to have a bigger bearing on the film, but in editing, they took out the things that made all of those character’s necessary. It would have been better, I think, to just not focus on those characters and their parts in the story if they weren’t going to capitalize on their inclusion.

Other than that one real detractor of probably questionable editing, Logan Lucky is one of the better films of the year, and I really appreciated the characters and their relationships. Also, on a more personal note, I loved this movie because Jimmy reminded me of my daddy. My parents are still married, have been for 32/33 years or so, but when I was a little girl, I was just like Sadie. Me and my daddy did everything together. He was my best friend as a child and to this day is still one of the best men I’ve ever known, and because of that, Jimmy’s motivation for the heist makes more sense than any heist movie I’ve ever seen.

This movie is about an amazing father who loves his child doing a bad thing because he can’t stand losing the best thing in his whole world, and it’s so refreshing to see such a pure motivation for a heist movie as well as such a violence-free heist that doesn’t make you feel any negative feelings towards the people involved. It’s easily one of very few ‘crime’ movies where you just have a bunch of (arguably) good people doing a bad thing for a good reason.

It’s just such an original idea with a fun execution, and I cannot express strongly enough how bummed I am the box office is looking to not be so good for this movie this opening weekend. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, GO WATCH IT! It’s well worth the price of admission.

My Rating: 8/10

About J. Chelsea Williford

Movie addict, reader, writer, pop culture lover.
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