In the most unsubtle manner, yet still indirectly, referred to as by Soderbergh Logan Lucky is essentially Ocean’s 7-11. Head-lined by yet another incredible ensemble only Soderbergh could possibly unite, Logan Lucky serves as a nationwide theatrical view into Middle America and the blue-collar workers’ lifestyle. The film commences after Jimmy Logan (Tatum) has a bad day at work and is effectively fired, leading him to engage in a plan he’d long been considering, to rob a Nascar race. Knowing all the ins-and-outs of the Nascar underground (literally), he goes on to recruit his crew and mount a spectacular heist full of hysterical antics and misfortunes all around.
It’s strange to consider that out of all the film projects that could be floating around Soderbergh’s head, Logan Lucky was the one that made him jump back in the director’s chair, yet viewing the film it’s an oddly fascinating look at this section of America that is so often unrepresented. From the accents to the mindsets, Soderbergh paints his own vision of this world, basing it in normalcy and then strapping on a myriad of quirks to make it seem all the more absurd. Whether the absurdities lie in Clyde Logan’s (Driver) missing hand and forearm or the very characters that Craig and MacFarlane play, Soderbergh’s world could not be anymore meticulously absurd.
As for this particular ensemble that Soderbergh united, I loved the fact that they all inhabited their characters and complemented the team dynamic of the ensemble and the heist crew itself. Whereas in Ocean’s Eleven George Clooney essentially plays himself, everyone here completely inhabits their fictional roles, a choice that gives us the pleasure of witnessing some amazing comedic outings. As I mentioned previously, Adam Driver is sensational in his role, playing our titular Logan’s younger brother, Driver completely transforms into this simple-minded bar-tender that’ll do anything for his brother no matter how much of a disadvantage it leaves him at. As for the other explosively (pun totally intended) comedic and charming performance we see delivered is Daniel Craig’s take on Joe “Bang.” When he finally liberates himself from the contractual obligations of the James Bond franchise one day, I really hope we get much more of Daniel Craig inhabiting these wild side-characters in random movies because watching him play “Bang” was marvelous.
I can’t call Logan Lucky Soderbergh’s return to form because even when he wasn’t making movies he was killing it on t.v. with The Knick, but I what I can say is that I’m ready for more Soderbergh in the years to come. Is the Logan Lucky a great film? No, but it’s an incredibly charming and funny look at an under-represented portion of America done in the best fashion possible. From Riley Keough to Channing Tatum everyone’s great and beyond them, Driver and Craig are hilarious. Logan Lucky is the odd non-event film that actually feels like one, the little original film that could.