Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterson, Dwight Yoakam, Farrah Mackenzie, Sebastian Stan, Brian Gleeson, Jack Quaid, with Hilary Swank and introducing Daniel Craig as Joe Bang
Run Time: 1h 59min
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
3 1/2 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
The best way to describe this movie is to say that it’s the hillbilly version of Ocean’s Eleven. The title makes more sense when you watch the movie… it takes a stab at the main characters, which are the Logan family, Jimmy (Tatum), Clyde (Driver) and Mellie (Keough) who are anything but lucky.
The entire family has had nothing but misfortune. Clyde lost his arm in the war. He owns a bar and still serves drinks to his customers, though it takes him a touch longer than it should. He’s not exactly Tom Cruise from Cocktail but armed with good conversation, he can at least hold a customer’s interest as they watch him prepare a drink.
Mellie is a hair dresser. She’s their gum-chewing, bombshell of a baby sister who takes pride in helping her brothers, though she seems to enjoy giving them a hard time. When he’s at work, she helps Jimmy, who’s divorced, with his daughter, Sadie (Mackenzie), who worships her daddy and makes him promise he’ll be at her upcoming beauty pageant. Sadie is actually lucky to have an aunt who can help her with her makeup and hair so she can concentrate on the song she’s going to choose for the talent part of the competition.
Jimmy has a good job working in the mines but because of a limp, he has, which is a pre-existing condition to their insurer, the company decides he’s a liability and decides to let him go. Conveniently enough, his job site was located under the Charlotte Motor Speedway. After visiting his ex, Bobbie Jo Chapman (Holmes), and hearing she wants to move and take their daughter with her, Jimmy decides he better get busy finding money. Immediately, he gets with Clyde about his plans to rob the Speedway. He knows how they transfer money, he knows it can be done on a slow day and he knows who they can get to help them. The Logan’s, especially Jimmy at the moment, are notorious for how unlucky they are but this time he feels things will go right for a change and the unlucky streak will come to an end.
They enlist the help of Joe Bang (Craig) who happens to be incarcerated at the moment with several months left on his sentence. His brothers Fish (Quaid) and Sam (Gleeson), who have probably half a brain between them, join with making all of this godown. They could possibly cause more harm than good but Jimmy has a plan for them just in case. Joe Bang is a hysterical, definitely out of the ordinary character for Craig to play, especially since he’s going to be in another Bond film. It’s good to see him do something like this. Anyway, like his brothers, Joe Bang isn’t the sharpest tool, intimidating only because he’s unpredictable, but he comes with skills the Logan’s need for the job.
The movie is exciting. The characters are truly authentic but some of the accents? Not so much. Keough is fantastic and little Farrah Mackenzie is simply adorable. Toward the end of the movie, she sings a John Denver song and she makes the scene equally moving as it is funny. With the pounds of makeup the child has on and her eyes so heavily lined… it’s just too much but those eyes! Soderbergh uses them well for a touching moment as well as a giggle. Sadie, so sweetly she sings as she stares straight at her father. It’s his favorite song. She belts out the tune as best she can and Soderbergh pulls in tight on her pretty face and for a moment he somehow turns this zany comedy into a drama. But as I said, it’s only for a moment. Logan Lucky is filled with colorful characters and has notable cameos. It’s silly and funny and, like with Ocean’s, Soderbergh leaves the movie wide open for a sequel. I’m in!