Good ol' boys have a good time pulling an intricate heist.
Director: Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11, Magic Mike)
Screenplay: Rebecca Blunt
Cast: Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Adam Driver (Paterson)
Runtime: 1 hr 59 min
by John DeSando
“I know how they move the money.” Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum)
I’m not original calling Logan Lucky a hillbilly heist, for it’s set in Boone County, West Virginia, and these good ol’ boys are pulling a heist that is pretty bright given the initial condescension to their lack of sophistication, contrasted with director Steven Soderbergh’s cool Ocean’s franchise. The mechanics of the robbery are even more sophisticated than that slick George Clooney caper.
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum, also producer) enlists the likes of his amputee, Iraq-vet brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), and career-criminal Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to rob the Charlotte Speedway during a formula race. Although the vacuum tubes and alibi-establishing shenanigans rival Ocean’s plans, the actual play out of the heist is more serendipity than Solomon.
Like the complex heist film Good Time starring Rob Pattinson, brothers bond amidst their disabilities and sometimes awkward actions. Good Time emphasizes the loving bond while Logan the smart collaboration. In both cases for brotherhood and ‘hood (NYC for Good Time), nature and nurture are subtly at work while the principals work at getting loot for their lives.
Logan Lucky is a Soderbergh standout because it takes the time to flesh out West Virginia, with the help of John Denver songs and the homey characters who love that country. The primary and secondary characters are both types and individuals who come and go but leave an impression.
It is worth seeing Logan to watch James-bond Craig completely transform himself (white hair buzz and graceless walk). Tatum is good enough as a good-ol boy to make you forget he has been a leading sex symbol for the last few years.
For those who see Logan Lucky, enjoy the logistics and local color. If you also see The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Good Time, you’ll have a good time but long for sane sisterhood.
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com