“You Logans must be as simple-minded as people say.”Joe Bang
In this blue collar heist movie, Steven Soderbergh transfers the template of his Ocean’s trilogy from the glitz of Vegas to the Deep South in his return to feature filmmaking following a four-year hiatus after Side Effects. The Logan siblings are hoping to break their family’s “curse” of bad luck with a big score at a NASCAR track, cajoled by the newly unemployed Jimmy who is worried about losing his daughter. Rounding out the central pack is Daniel Craig, wielding a far less ostentatious southern accent than in Knives Out, as the explosives expert they need break out of jail. It is all colourfully ludicrous and the tone is more comedic than thriller. Vitally, the Southern setting is not a punchline in itself — there is plenty of ineptitude at play, but only specific side characters are portrayed as simple and we are generally laughing at the absurdity rather than the individuals. Their bumbling often undercuts Logan Lucky’s tension although it also leaves greater uncertainty as to the eventual outcome. With Soderbergh again handling directing, cinematography and editing, the visual storytelling is both familiar and effective, and the two hours fly at a rapid pace as soon as the plan starts to take shape. However, following a late twist, it is really the closing fifteen minutes that makes Logan Lucky stand out as a crime movie with a heart.