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Film Review: Logan Lucky

30 August 17 words: Louis Greatorex

James Bond, Kylo Ren and Magic Mike teaming up for a heist? Why not. 

Steven Soderbergh, director of the Ocean’s Trilogy, is back with a lightweight heist flick that comes across as something of a soft Baby Driver, and with the two films unfortunately sharing a close theatrical release, it’s hard not to make comparisons. That said, Logan Lucky packs just enough of a punch and offers just enough wit, character, and heart to succeed in its own right.

The Redneck romp is carried by a stellar cast. Channing Tatum is surprisingly endearing as the troubled war veteran Jimmy Logan, and the chemistry with his one-armed brother (Adam Driver) is more enjoyable than it should be. Driver opts for the deadpan performance, which works especially well in the face of Daniel Craig’s outlandish, bleached blonde, hard-boiled egg eating Joe Bang – the explosive expert. Craig’s North Carolina accent is certainly believable enough, if not something of a caricature, but you’ll have a lot more fun listening to Seth Macfarlane’s “British”.

The film moves along at a confident pace, unafraid to be slow when necessary, with generally focussed dialogue that keeps you up to speed. The strongest and most effective moments are when the narrative weaves together incognito heist preparations with mundane familial disputes, particularly well-crafted with Soderbergh flair. Yet some “confidently slow” moments dip into lag briefly in the middle, and then again towards the end, where all the film’s momentum seems to just fade away. Perhaps another draft or two of the script would have prevented this.

Most of the relationships are there and palpable, but quite light and generally forgettable

Oddly, the stakes never really seem that high, but that’s okay - you never really want them to be. That’s because where Logan Lucky succeeds most is in its efforts to not be taken too seriously. Many of the scenes in which real tension could be felt are diluted by genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, which makes it hard for any real tension to ever develop. At its core, the film is about family, but it doesn’t offer anything particularly new or thought-provoking in that respect. Most of the relationships are there and palpable, but quite light and generally forgettable. The real heart of the film ultimately falls on Jimmy’s endearing relationship with his daughter, Sadie, played charmingly by Farah Mackenzie. We begin and end with those two, and it’s because of their great chemistry that somewhere in the middle you’ll find yourself rather emotionally struck by John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads.

Whilst it could have done with a twist or two to really make it great, rather than just fizzling out, Logan Lucky is largely successful, and undoubtedly earns a place in the top tier of films released this summer.

Logan Lucky is screening at Broadway Cinema until September 7th.

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