At a time when white supremacists are marching in the streets, “Ocean’s Eleven in Trump’s America” could have easily become a two-hour middle finger to the Bible Belt. So perhaps the most surprising thing about Logan Lucky is how earnest it is about the white, working-class Americans it portrays. With every twist and turn comes a sly wink to the audience: “See? These hicks aren’t as dumb as you thought”.
It’s a heist movie, so you probably know the formula. If you don’t, one character has a handy copy stuck to their fridge. The joint (in this case a NASCAR track) will be cased; preparations will be made, some of which won’t make sense until the middle of the caper; and shit will inevitably go sideways at the worst time. The joy is in watching the pieces all fall into place, made all the sweeter thanks to a crackling screenplay by the possibly fictional Rebecca Blunt and a cast that’s firing on all cylinders.
Tatum continues to be one of the best comic actors working today, and Driver’s straight man is never hampered by his fake arm and Forrest Gump accent. But it’s Craig, nearly unrecognisable with prison tattoos and a bleach-blonde buzzcut, who steals the show as the aptly named demolition expert Joe Bang.
It’s just a shame that the rest of the players – especially the women – feel thin by comparison: Swank in particular feels wasted in a third-act role that needed more time to breathe.
It’s a cliché to say that they “don’t make ‘em like this anymore”, but it’s startling how quaint Logan Lucky feels when one considers that Ocean’s Thirteen is still only 10 years old. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, but nobody does it better than Steven Soderbergh. May he never retire again.
CAST: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
WRITER: Rebecca Blunt
SYNOPSIS: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.