Logan Lucky Movie Review
(L-R): Channing Tatum, Riley Keough and Adam Driver star in director Steven Soderbergh’s crime comedy-drama, ‘Logan Lucky.’
Photo Courtesy: Bleecker Street Media and Fingerprint Releasing

Title: Logan Lucky

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Hilary Swank and Daniel Craig

Engaging in activities in somewhat familiar territory can be both a terrifying and liberating experience. Oscar-winning director, Steven Soderbergh, is returning to the crime and heist genres with his intriguing upcoming movie, ‘Logan Lucky,’ which is set to be released into theaters on Friday by Bleecker Street Media and Fingerprint Releasing. However, the new comedy-drama is deriving from the normal formula of the typically glitzy robbery-driven story that features devious and privileged criminals who steal money just to settle a score. Instead, the filmmaker intriguingly highlights the conscious decision of hard-working blue-collar workers who plan to go rogue for one robbery job, just so that they can survive and make ends meet.

‘Logan Lucky’ follows divorced father, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), who becomes desperate to earn quick cash after he’s laid off from his job as a coal miner. He then discovers that his ex-wife, Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes), wants to move their young daughter out of West Virginia, so her new husband can expand his car dealership company. So the now unemployed Jimmy becomes determined to do whatever it takes to maintain contact with his daughter, and raise money so that he can continue providing for her.

As a result of his despair, Jimmy creates an elaborate plan to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway in neighboring North Carolina during a NASCAR race. Since he was a part of the team that’s working on the mines under the race track before he lost his job, Jimmy is familiar with the way the cash is handled there. So he convinces his one-armed brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), an Iraq War veteran who’s now working at a local dive bar, and their car-obsessed hairdresser sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), to join him in the heist.

The Logan siblings, who Clyde feels suffer from what he believes is the Logan family curse, realize they need professional help to pull off the complex robbery. So they recruit an eccentric demolition expert, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), who has successfully participated in numerous robberies in the past. However, he was convicted for his last crime, so he’s still serving prison time. So Jimmy and Clyde develop a plan to smuggle Joe out just long enough to have him break into the racetrack vault, before they sneak him back into jail before Warden Burns (Dwight Yoakam) notices he’s missing.

On the day of the popular Coca-Cola 600 race, the Logan crew breaks into the underground tube system that’s used to transport millions of dollars in vendors’ cash. Just when it seems they’ve pulled off the most incredible robbery in North Carolina history, a relentless FBI agent, Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank), begins snooping around the scene of the crime, and becomes suspicious of everything and everyone she comes across. The Logan crew does whatever it takes to hide their guilt and keep their money, while Sarah relentlessly pursues the criminals that both the public and her colleagues aren’t as interested in seeing apprehended.

Soderbergh, who previously garnered critical acclaim and box office success for helming the comedy heist ‘Ocean’s Trilogy’ in the early-mid 2000s, instantly created another noteworthy entry in the genre with ‘Logan Lucky.’ The helmer’s triumphant return to feature film directing, following his four-year hiatus after he released the 2013 crime drama, ‘Side Effects,’ which also starred Tatum, features a more modest and genuine insight into the struggles that relatable, working class Americans often face. As opposed to other entries in the heist genre, including the ‘Ocean’s Trilogy,’ where the characters can at times feel more pretentious and entitled in their reasoning for their crimes, Jimmy and his accomplices appear to be more humble and justified in their actions.

Tatum and his co-stars in ‘Logan Lucky,’ especially Driver and Keough, offer enthralling and sympathetic portrayals of their at-times gritty characters, who aren’t afraid to pursue what they want in life. While Jimmy and his siblings are fully aware of the moral and legal consequences they may face for going through with the robbery, the actors instead enthrallingly focus on the positive changes that the countless amount of money they’ll walk away with would have on their lives. The actors’ witty and compassionate portrayals of their hard-working, blue-collar characters prove that they’re just as worthy to achieve success as their more affluent counterparts.

‘Logan Lucky’ offers a captivating insight into the trials and tribulations of Appalachian subculture. While the crime heist movie does champion the success of Jimmy and his accomplices in their illegal act, the harrowing circumstances the group must overcome in order to simply survive powerfully compensates for their transgression. The film’s daring heist story, which enthrallingly derives from the normal formula of the glitzy robbery-driven story, features both heart and humor that will resonate with viewers long after the end credits roll.

Technical: B

Acting: B+

Story: B

Overall: B

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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