What if Oceans 11 was about rednecks?
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Riley Keough
In a Hollywood filled with remakes and reboots you wouldn’t have to try too hard to add this film to the list. Anyone that was a fan of the Oceans 11 series may find themselves in an all too familiar place while watching Logan Lucky. It may make too much sense though, considering both films were directed by the same man – Steven Soderbergh.
The easy sentence to say here is ‘So, if you enjoyed Oceans you’ll enjoy Lucky’. True as that may be, there’s a healthy amount of difference between them that may prevent that admiration from being automatic.
Logan Lucky takes place in present day West Virginia. Your main character Jimmy Logan (pleasantly played by Channing Tatum) is losing the battle vs the world and karma. His ex-wife (Katie Holmes) doesn’t respect him and has moved on to greener pastures. She has no problem flaunting her new wealthy lifestyle in front of him and to their daughter every chance she gets. Jimmy has lost his job on a bogus technicality and reaching his wits end. His brother Clyde (played perfectly by Adam Driver) isn’t faring much better in life. After losing half of his left arm while serving in Iraq he at least blames a family curse for their troubles.
Jimmy decides he has had enough and concocts a plan to rob a bank. Here is where the twist begins. They’re not robbing just an ordinary bank, but the vault below Charlotte Motor Speedway. Help is needed and Jimmy reaches out to the Bang Brothers. Two of the brothers are doing the best they can with the IQ given to them while just surviving in the backwoods lifestyle of West Virginia. Their older brother, Joe Bang (played fantastically by Craig, Daniel Craig) happens to be the best explosives man around but also happens to be finishing up a recent jail sentence.
Now the fun begins and the Oceans 11 style intervenes. A plan is devised to break Joe out of jail just for a few hours, rob the Speedway vault during a race, get away with the cash and then put Joe back in jail before anyone notices!
I wont give away any spoilers here because this is a fun film to watch. Its flaw may lie in that its not overly complicated yet in the end tries to be. One of those movies that flashes back to tell you how it was all able to happen after the fact. It never gives you clues towards the events, it just wants you to say “Ohhh, that’s why that happened and how he did this…”. The acting may be the most fun part of the film. Everyone is giving their best backwoods West Virginia accents and some may be a touch stronger than others. Tatum and Driver actually sell well as brothers, both playing their characters subdued. Even when they get angry and into fights their emotions remain even. Driver especially makes some subtle but bold choices with Clyde and its hard to decide if he’s doing it to poke fun at rednecks or if that’s how he sees this guy. Either way he grows on you by the end of the film.
I actually enjoyed this film. Riley Keough steals every scene she is in. The best moment of the whole movie though comes from a throw away scene involving inmates in the prison. They start making demands of the guards that any Game of Thrones fan out there will be laughing out loud at.
Check out this film if given the chance. Even if you miss it in the theaters, be sure to grab it OnDemand or DVD as soon as it gets there.
“Country roads, take me home.”
7 out of 10