Monday, 28 August 2017

Review: Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky
Cert: 12A / 119 mins / Dir. Steven Soderbergh / Trailer

Well I don't know what we've done to deserve the interesting films still within the months of Summer, but I certainly won't complain about that*1. Steven Soderbergh is back directing for at the big-screen after four years with a hillbilly-heist movie set in the drawling sunshine of Carolina and Virginia.

After being fired from his construction job, faded highschool football-star Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) begins plotting a daring robbery at the Charlotte Motor Speedway stadium during its busiest weekend. For this he enlists the help of his bartending brother Clyde (Adam Driver), hairdressing sister Mellie (Riley Keough) demolitions-expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and Joe's calamitous brothers Sam and Fish (Brian Gleeson / Jack Quaid). All they have to do is bust Joe out of prison first…

Quite unlike anything else which has crossed my path this year, Logan Lucky is a dryly-comic caper set against a backdrop of NASCAR, child beauty pageants and misspelled tattoos. But although the Southern States are mined for grins, this never becomes exploitative or unnecessary. While the trailer lets you know that there are jokes here, the final movie delivers them at a more restrained pace, going hand-in-hand with their perfect deadpan delivery. It quickly becomes evident however that Soderbergh can't direct comedy for shit, and just happens to be blessed with a cast who know what they're doing*2.

But this is a smarter film than it might first appear and even more charming, managing to craft an intriguing story and satisfying ending without tipping over into schmaltz. Despite the incredibly strong cast, I can't see Logan Lucky lighting up the box-office, and the natural home of a movie like this is on DVD, a future Saturday night cult classic. It's also the second film this year to hurl a borderline unhealthy amount of John Denver into the soundtrack*3.

One of the jewels in Soderbergh's varied (albeit uneven) crown, Logan Lucky is a lot of fun and should stand up to multiple re-watches. Each one accompanied with ice-cold beer…

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Hell Or High Water, My Name Is Earl.

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
If you can, do.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
In its own unique way, yes.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
I shouldn't have thought so.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: Kylo Ren's in this. And so's that stormtrooper who got duped by beginner-level Rey...

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Not least because this year's Blockbuster Season has also presented us with far more than its fair share of absolute cack, too. [ BACK ]

*2 With the inglorious exception of Seth MacFarlane, outstaying his welcome during his first appearance, being every bit as engaging as we've come to expect… [ BACK ]

*3 Which is fine right now, but I can't help feel this musical train is going to reach the end of its track, and pretty soon. [ BACK ]

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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