Length: 118 minutes / 1.97 hours
I enjoy a good heist film. No heist is ever a straightforward “grab and dash” situation. When overcoming the barriers for the heist one-by-one, I can appreciate the interlocking elements of the robbery. Since one of my favorite heist films, Ocean’s Eleven (2001), was directed by Steven Soderbergh, I looked forward to his latest heist, Logan Lucky (2017). The trailers made it look like a fun film, and it was, but at the expense of all the best parts being conveyed in the trailer. About the only thing you don’t see in the trailer is the twist at the end, which is to be expected.
When it comes to the setting, I’m not entirely sure if Logan Lucky is embracing or parodying the hillbilly stereotype. From beauty pageants for children to NASCAR races, this film has all the trappings of a West Virginia based on cultural perception instead of actual reality. At any rate, there is a humor and charm in the drawling characters, which were played to significant effect by Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig (who was certainly cast off-type from his regular repertoire). The one character that seemed out of place was Seth MacFarlane’s gum-chewing Max Chilblain, mostly because I couldn’t place what accent he was trying to achieve. British? Australian? Some mix of the two?
In the end, Logan Lucky delivers on its promise of a down-home country heist that’s equal parts fun and smart. I know associating the hillbilly stereotype with smart seems odd, but Soderbergh manages to make it happen. Perhaps its strongest trait is the unexpected twist near the end of the film, as a series of flashbacks reveals the “plan within the plan” that helps to end the movie on a somewhat ambiguous note as the characters gather together in the bar run by Clyde Logan (Adam Driver).
A fun heist film and return to form for Steven Soderbergh, I give Logan Lucky 3.5 stars out of 5.