Logan Lucky review

Yes, that's right, Logan Lucky – not, as is more obvious (and what everyone is actually calling it) Lucky Logan. The titular Logans are brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver), who plan to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during its biggest NASCAR race of the year. 

Jimmy, who has a bad knee from a football injury, is let go from his job repairikng a sinkhole under the speedway. But while he has been working under the stadium, he's discovered that money from all the food stands is sent to a cash vault in the basement through a series of pneumatic tubes. So he recruits Jimmy, who lost an arm in Iraq, younger sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to pull of the daring daylight robbery.

Soderbergh certainly has form when it comes to heist/caper films – he's rather famous for the Ocean's trilogy – and here he delivers a blue-collar comedy that feels like an Ocean's Eleven crossed with My Name Is Earl. So yes, it seems like more of the same, but with a sparkling script from Hollywood "newcomer" Rebecca Blunt (rumoured to actually be Soderbergh's wife, Jules Asner), Logan Lucky is a hugely entertaining romp that will keep you guessing right up till the final credits.

Having Magic Mike, Kylo Ren and James Bond together in the same film is quite a coup, and the three actors bounce off each like life-long friends. Tatum has worked with Soderbergh before, and the direct helms Logan Lucky with his usual smooth flair, moving the story along like a well-oiled machine. Jimmy needs the money to keep up alimony payments to ex-wife Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes), who is threatening to move to another state with daughter Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie). The Logans are famous for their bad luck, so Jimmy's 10-step heist plan includes the all-important final step: Shit happens.

It's a wonderful ensemble cast, but the most valuable player here is clearly Craig. With his bleach-blond crew cut, tattoos and drawling southern-American accent, Craig is miles away from any role  we have seen him take in the past, and he is relishing the opportunity to really stretch his acting muscles. And unrecognisable is Seth MacFarlane, wearing a fat suit, wig and facial hair – plus adopting a pretty decent British accent - as arrogant NASCAR champ Max Chilblain.

Logan Lucky lacks the slick polish of the Ocean's films, but it's all the better for it. Surrounded by some of the dimmest characters to grace the big screen – particularly Joe Bang's super-thick brothers – one would assume that the Logans simply don't have the smarts to pull off some a clever heist. Do they get away with it? Well, you'll just have to see the film to find out. But you'll be glad you did – it's clever, witty and charming, with wonderful characters and jam-packed with laughs. Just remember, at the box office, to ask for a ticket to Logan Lucky, not Lucky Logan...

logan lucky 2017 movie embed

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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