Being described as ‘Ocean’s 7-11,’ director Steven Soderbergh’s new film ‘Logan Lucky’ takes you by surprise. Outside of it being a heist film it may be one of the most original films i’ve seen in a while. Being able to only describe it as ‘The Score’ meets ‘Taledega Nights’ I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into initially. My reasons for seeing it in the first place was because actor Daniel Craig was in the film. My response was: “he turned down being James Bond to be in this?” However, the result is pleasantly surprising.
‘Logan Lucky’ casts almost every actor against type. Adam Driver drops off his awkward dramatic acting chops to once again ham it up like he used to on ‘Girls.’ Channing Tatum took on a transformative process of gaining weight and looking a hearty dose of white trash to play an ex-high school prom king instead of playing the in-shape hottie. Daniel Craig once again proves that his talent is engmatic and does quite a good job at being a comic actor. Katie Holmes rises from the ashes of her marriage to Tom Cruise to play a bitchy housewife. Everyone looks like they are having a ton of fun.
With most heist movies you have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy it and that is the same case here. Never once did I have that moment of ‘Wait! How did they do that?” Because I was having too much fun to care. ‘Logan Lucky’ is intricately written and extremely imaginative. It left me with the impression of ‘look at all these dumb hicks plan this. I shouldn't judge a book by it’s cover.’ There is a moment in the film where someone asks Channing Tatum’s character:
“You don't have a cellphone? What are you like one of those uni-bomber types?”
“Yes, yes I am one of those uni-bomber types.”
It reminds you that the human being, when put in a corner, will go through tremendous lengths to get out and that genius is not just limited to things like math and science. The act of just playing dumb is an act of incredible intelligence.
One of the things that I really liked about ‘Logan Lucky’ was that it didn't fall into the usual pitfalls a heist movie like ‘Heat’ or ‘The Score’ falls into. There wasn't some characters “one last score” and you legitimately want the characters to succeed because enough time is established that you like and root for them. Plus, there is a reason they actually need the money outside of just simple greed.
In the Hollywood rumor mill, it is rumored that Steven Soderbergh will be hanging up his directing hat soon. It would be a shame considering the epic scale of this film and the complicated matter of directing alongside a NASCAR race. This is a film he decided to direct last minute on a whim and it turned out great. Soderbergh can deliver a solid film even when dialing it in. That's true talent. Maybe he relates to the characters in his heist films in knowing when is the best time to walk away.