Sometimes in the life of a blue-collar, the world seems out to get you. Sometimes you lose your job, and sometimes you struggle with family relationships and finding more work. Sometimes you attempt to rob a motor speedway with your wounded veteran brother, an incarcerated robber with a penchant for explosives, and the inmate’s two ignorant brothers.
Okay, maybe not that last one. In “Logan Lucky,” however, this premise produces a fast-paced and exciting film, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan, who find themselves attempting to pull off a massive heist of Charlotte Motor Speedway with the help of some clumsy and empty-headed partners in crime.
Soderbergh came out of retirement to direct this picture, which quickly asserts itself as a masterful comedy that achieves laughter through lighthearted and over-the-top performances by its actors while also being able to generate surprisingly intelligent plot featuring a similarly intelligent heist. The movie constantly questions how far these characters are going to go in efforts to turn a history of bad luck and a possible family curse into a large cash reward, mixing in high-octane and energetic events such as prison escapes with slow and gradual moments that develop character and give us motive to cheer for the little guys in their endeavors.
“Logan Lucky” is dominated by strong performances which seemingly portray rural West Virginian in the extreme, almost stereotypical hillbilly. However, there’s more to these characters than meets the eye, as Channing Tatum proves with his purposeful performance as Jimmy Logan, a former star athlete who finds himself out of a job and scheming for a major heist. However, he devotes a lot of time to his daughter Sadie (played by Farrah Mackenzie), who lives with Jimmy’s ex-wife Bobby Jo (played by Katie Holmes). The relationship between daughter and father is given time throughout the movie, establishing an emotional connection that allows the audience to smile at their adorable conversations about gelato while also feeling concern when a determined FBI agent (played by Hilary Swank) starts to investigate the brothers. There are several touching moments in a movie that on the surface seems silly and sarcastic, and this truly allows the movie to stand on its own and find itself more than just your average dumb-guy comedy movie.
Driver also impresses as Iraq War veteran Clyde Logan, being able to convey the sensitivity of having a prosthetic hand while also being able to show the toughness and willingness of his character to break the dreaded “Logan family” curse that he firmly believes in. Topped off with a memorable performance by Daniel Craig as explosives expert Joe Bang, and “Logan Lucky” produces several hard-hitting performances by an all-around talented cast.
“Logan Lucky” has generated acclaim and almost unanimous praise; it currently holds a 93% rating on movie consensus site Rotten Tomatoes. However, the movie has made around $26 million in the United States, not even reaching the top 50 movies in box-office this year alone. This statistic alone makes it one of the most underrated movies of the year when comparing critical reviews to cinematic profit. This movie won’t be in theaters much longer; if you want an instant summer classic, go see “Logan Lucky.” Just like its eponymous characters, it isn’t given enough credit.