Rob Reviews "Logan Lucky"
OK, stop me when you’ve heard this one:
James Bond with a dye job, Elvis’ granddaughter, Magic Mike, Kylo Ren, and the son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid all get together to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600.
Sound strange? Add Steven Soderbergh and first-time screenwriter Rebecca Blunt to that mix and you have “Logan Lucky”. Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is let go from his job working underground construction at the Speedway and is down on his luck. Between supporting his bartender brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), dealing with his overbearing sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), a nagging ex-wife in Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes), and a daughter preparing for a Little Miss West Virginia pageant in Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie). Jimmy and Clyde end up working with Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), hatching a plan to break him out of prison, steal the money from the vault, and then break him back in before anyone realizes he is gone.
Seeing all of these great actors playing West Virginians is worth the price of admission ALONE. (Add to that Seth McFarlane working a strange form of Australian accent as an energy drink magnate and NASCAR owner, and that mix gets even more fun.) However, this fact by itself cannot be expected to carry a two-hour runtime that “Logan Lucky” brings with it, and that is where my issue with it comes into play. There are many moments where I found myself laughing out loud by the complete absurdity of what was going on, but a chunk of the third act does tend to get a bit loose before everything comes together for a strong finish. The odd thing about it, though, is that I don’t feel like they could have trimmed that third act up to make it any more enjoyable. It’s like it teetered on completely spinning out of control but kept things just on this side of that line. This great cast does a wonderful job in filling those gaps, which is probably why I liked the cut where it stood, but I could see some of the detractors’ opinions here. Given the simplicity of its characters (on purpose), it is surprisingly a bit more complex than it has to be (especially as it all unfolds), but it is not unrealistic to match the plan up to its principals. There is also Hilary Swank as the FBI agent assigned to the case, but I felt that her character was a bit rushed due to the amount of time it took to get through the caper itself, but again, I don’t know that this could have been cut differently to get there quicker.
The best way to frame “Logan Lucky” using the tried-and-true Hollywood formula is this: It’s “Oceans Eleven” meets “The Apple Dumpling Gang” meets “Little Miss Sunshine” with a dash of “My Name Is Earl”. There is actually a very funny way they are referred to in the film, but I really want to save that for when you actually get the chance to see it. I truly enjoyed this film and have every intention on seeing it again, so head on out!