Thursday, August 24, 2017

Movie Review: Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh returns to the heist film with a regional twist. Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) just wants to take care of his daughter Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie) and work but when he's fired from a construction job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for insurance liability, he devises a plan to rob the racetrack. His sister Mellie Logan (Riley Keough) is a hairdresser who loves to drive fast and cover for her brother. Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) lost his arm in Iraq and works as a bartender. Jimmy is a tough former football player who had a promising career until he blew out his knee. He is defensive of his brother when a wealthy energy drink mogul Max Chilblain (Seth MacFarlane) insults Clyde. He also has a troubled relationship with his ex-wife Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes). Clyde is reluctant to go along with Jimmy's plan at first but agrees to hear him out. 

Their initial plan was to rob the speedway during a smaller race and the only one who can help them is Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). The Logan brothers visit Joe with a plan to break him out to help and then get him back in but Bang insists that he has family help as well. The Logan brothers recruit Fish Bang (Jack Quaid) and Sam Bang (Brian Gleeson) who claim to have to have a moral reason for robbing the venue. They set out to make the plan but Jimmy discovers the construction will finish early so they have to move it up to the Coca-Cola 600, a much bigger NASCAR event.  The plan to break out Joe Bang involves Clyde going into the prison so he crashes his car into a gas station. Bang organizes a prison riot to occur and pretends to be sick so he can be in the medical ward.

On the day of the race, Jimmy is full of nerves, having to wake up Fish and Sam to make sure they shut off the power. They need all the vendors to be using cash to increase their haul when they break into the vault. Max Chilblain is sponsoring a racer Dayton White (Sebastian Stan) who has a serious diet that cannot be thrown off but Chilblain insists he guzzles some of the energy drink. Joe and Clyde sneak out using a tunnel from the bathroom as the prison guards start the riot forcing a lockdown. During the riot, there is a hilarious Game of Thrones joke. Mellie picks up Clyde and Joe and brings them to the speedway where they enter as customers. Joe Bang has to pick up gummy bears and indulges in a beer. The candy turns out to be essential for Joe Bang's explosive concoction. 

The explosion allows the thieves to vacuum out the money into trash bags but the smoke alerts security. They interrogate each member of the heist but each has a hilarious excuse to why they can't smell smoke. They pull off the robbery with only one real kink, Clyde punches Max Chilblain who recognizes him from a bar fight early in the film. The FBI investigates the theft led by Special Agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank) but they only find a truckload of the abandoned cash, no culprits. Joe Bang and the audience are led to believe that Jimmy gave up all the money but in the end, it is revealed there was a bigger plan.

As far as the heist goes, I still had a few questions and some things appeared just a little too easy and inconsequential. The film is fun though, an enjoyable watch with likable characters. Daniel Craig definitely stole the show as Joe Bang but Tatum and Driver were amusing as well. I like films like this but this film probably won't stick around in my memory for much longer than this month. I could see watch it again later but the lack of box office success doesn't show much promise for future films like this for some time. Big name directors usually get there way but this film didn't match his previous success of the Ocean's trilogy. 

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