There’s a line in this film that perfectly encapsulates both the central premise, the atmosphere, and the tone: “It’s like Ocean’s 7-11.” This type of self-referencing, omniscient humor is prevalent throughout the entire film in true, Soderbergh fashion– a three minute scene that is exclusively a Games of Thrones joke comes to mind. Much like his other films, like the Ocean’s series, Traffick, and Contagion, everything fits together in a meticulous matter that is quite satisfying, but a prolonged third act is weighed down by its own cleverness.
Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Lucky (Adam Driver) are two brothers in a rural town in North Carolina. When Jimmy’s fortunes change, and he’s fired from his construction job, he takes to a life of crime and plans to recoup his losses by conducting an elaborate heist during a NASCAR race. In order to do that, they recruit their sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), to be their getaway driver and break an infamous bank robber, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), out of jail in broad-daylight. Things go off without a hitch, or so we think, but guilt seemingly catches up with Jimmy and the CIA is hot in pursuit.
Logan Lucky, as a whole, is chock-full of stellar performances. Although the film has taken some heat for presenting North Carolinian culture in a sarcastic, or intentionally misleading, fashion, the accents and mannerisms never felt disrespectful or devious– and that’s coming from a Texan. Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig standout in this film as bright spots, while everyone else fills in the blanks. The only poor performance comes from Hillary Swank as one of the CIA members in pursuit of the Lucky brothers. There’s a gruffness to her persona that seems utterly forced and comes across as cumbersome, rather than interesting.
As mentioned before, all of the momentum that Logan Lucky builds up over the course of an hour and a half is extinguished heading into the third act. There is a misdirection in the plot that forces the audience to sit through a twenty minute sequence of scenes where Hillary Swank attempts to catch those Lucky boys. In theory, it sounds exciting and fun. In practice? Let’s just say that some eye-rolls were had– especially when Swank attempted to make her voice inaudible by murmuring as quietly as possible. In this film, the situation is the antagonist, so there’s nothing that feels dangerous or high-stakes at the end of this film– however satisfying the payoff.
Matt: Watch it if you like Soderbergh's humor Gabe: Watch it