Summary: Two brothers pull off a huge Nascar heist that somehow doesn’t involve any car chases. Weird!
… Wait, there’s ANOTHER Gleeson!? Are they the Skarsgards of Ireland or something?
I’m not in the Steven Soderbergh camp, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t like Logan Lucky. It’s a great blend of different humors and Adam Driver playing some kind of Matt from his SNL skit, so sign me up. In the easiest terms, this is Ocean’s 11 with a rural class. In my own words, it’s kind of like Brad Pitt’s character in Snatch came up with his own heist and roped in his whole neighborhood into helping out.
The story revolves around the Logan family: Jimmy (Channing Tatum), an injured construction worker, Mellie (Riley Keough), a hairdresser, and Clyde, a bartender, and veteran who lost his arm during deployment. Struggling to pay child support and just out of a job, Jimmy devises a plan to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway on one of its biggest days of the year, roping in Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his two dimwitted brothers to break into the venue’s safe and steal all its NASCAR money. Which is… a lot.
NASCAR makes a lot of money. Like movie aside, it’s absurd how much money people pour into it. Sponsors, deals, attendance, concession, etc. I mean, I like churros as much as the next ten people combined, but sports in this country- dude.
While heists are fun and fascinating and all, particularly in the way they’re put together and executed, that’s not the best reason to watch this movie. Plus, if you’ve seen Ocean’s 11, it does feel a bit formulaic. The best reason to watch this movie is the cast and its chemistry.
Now, we’re not talking about “Haha, let’s laugh at rednecks and their plights and stereotypes,” though those do make their way in there. The characters are wonderfully vibrant and their dynamics is what gives the movie its watchability factor. And they had understandable motives! I wouldn’t say any of the characters are “good” people, but they really are fun to watch. And unlike the other Soderbergh heist movie, the characters aren’t snotty or unobtainable. I just hate smarmy charm.
Minus Driver, I can’t really say I’m a fan of anyone in this movie- but I was interested in the people they were playing and each of their special set of skills. This is the first time I can say I’ve seen Craig and Tatum in unrecognizable roles and the first time I can say I enjoyed each of them outside their respective franchises, particularly Craig. Driver, who I will always find hilarious outside of Star Wars, really nails Clyde by playing him totally straight, deadpanning every minute he’s on screen.
We don’t really get too much background information or more than glimpses into the relationships between more of the characters- for the most part, Jimmy is the center it all and it’s the relationship he has with Clyde that really intrigued me. The kid is cute and all, but I liked the brother aspect. It was an unexpected glimpse into their particular dynamic that I really enjoyed- the admiration and loathing between brothers that find the value in family and loyalty. Specifically, I think think this exploration of masculinity is hard to come by in a movie like this- it’s not quite bro, it’s not friends who enjoy drinking together. There’s a real sense of obligation between the two and it feels quite authentic. It just gives the movie another layer that keeps it from heading into the hammy territory.
I think I would even chalk Logan Lucky up to those movies that are good to watch at any time and any mood. It’s not quite a comedy, not quite an action, not quite a crime- but it’s damn entertaining.