“Steven Soderbergh is back and better than ever with this hilarious, heartfelt film that is full of amazing performances.”
Yesterday I finally got around to watching Logan Lucky and believe me when I say the wait was worth it. Logan Lucky is director Steven Soderbergh’s new film, and it follows two brothers from a small town in West Virginia who decide to rob a Nascar event. That’s really all you need to know about the movie, and I’m itching to talk about why I loved it so much, so let’s get to it.
Right off the bat Lucky Logan is a movie that rarely had a moment where I wasn’t laughing my ass off. The comedy featured in Lucky Logan isn’t as overt as it could be, aiming for more absurdist and dry-witted jokes, but don’t mistake that for there not being any of it. I can’t recall a funnier movie I have seen in the past little while, and that’s saying something. Logan Lucky manages to create this world that is so real with this small West Virginia town and all of its residents, and takes this world and injects so much comedy into it. One comparison that kept popping into my head was that Logan Lucky is not unlike a Wes Anderson film. Of course the trademark Anderson visual style was missing (instead traded for Soderbergh’s own flair), but when looking at the characters you could imagine that they were ripped straight from Wes Anderson’s mind. All of these characters seem to exist in their own world, not impacted by anything on the outside. Their dialogue is brief and outlandish, but never to them, and their mannerisms reflect their almost alien view of the world. All of the characters present in Logan Lucky were so unique and strangely endearing. Even though we were watching criminals throughout the film’s two hour runtime I felt attached to these characters and I wanted them to succeed. Well maybe not even succeed, I just wanted them to continue doing what they were doing so that I could continue laughing along with them. What makes these characters so special is that they aren’t really outlandish, instead managing to have a firm grasp on the real world. I didn’t doubt for a second that these characters were real; Hell, I’ve met people exactly like them. This added another layer of immersion into the film and made every joke land even harder. But aside from laughs Logan Lucky also has a lot of heart. It takes skill to make a movie that makes an audience laugh, but even more to connect them to what they are seeing on screen. By the end of the movie I truly cared about everyone that I was watching, and I was invested in every decision that was made. Along with me laughing almost constantly, there were wonderful moments that made me feel all warm inside as well.
Of course a lot of what made these characters in Logan Lucky so great were the performances, so let’s get into that for a bit. Logan Lucky stars Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as Jimmy and Clyde Logan respectively. These two brothers are the ones who decide to plan the heist in the first place. As Jimmy Logan, Channing Tatum plays a working class guy who loves his family and would do anything for them. He is a little dense at times, but he has a heart of gold. This isn’t super unlike Tatum’s other roles, but he is really able to encapsulate the feeling of being a small town boy which I found to be pretty impressive. When we meet Clyde Logan (played by Adam Driver) we learn all we need to know about the character when he starts discussing the “Logan family curse”. Much like his brother, Clyde is a working class man but he’s a little different. He is very reserved and somewhat hostile, assuming (according to his curse theory) that the world is trying to beat him down. This was a fantastic role for Adam Driver because although I hadn’t seen anything like it from him before he knocked it out of the fucking park. He managed to once again create this personified image of a small town, and just like his brother he played a somewhat dim-witted man with a heart of gold. Seeing these two characters interact throughout the film was both hilarious and touching. On the other side of things you have Daniel Craig playing the seedy criminal Joe Bang, who serves as the groups demolition expert. I’m going to start feeling like a broken record here but once again Craig gives a performance that I haven’t seen from him yet and completely knocks it out of the park. He plays the small-town criminal who is actually rather big time, a man who knows his way around a bomb, a man who is so slimy and yet at the same time rather charming. I could go on and on about all of the characters in the film because they all bring something special to the table. Every single performance in Logan Lucky is something to admire because when it all comes together it creates this absolutely amazing picture that amazed me from start to finish. I also really liked the music choices in Logan Lucky which were not only good, but also really helped set the tone (most of them being classic country songs). One thing that rubbed me the wrong way and almost ruined the film for me was something happened toward the end of the movie. I’m not going to spoil anything but something in the movie happens and I just don’t buy it. Couple this with the fact that this portion of the movie, which I’m not enjoying, goes on way too long and I thought my entire experience was going to be soured. Luckily the ending of the movie comes back and saves everything again. I still stand by my criticism that the portion of the movie before the ending goes on way too long, but the ending and the rest of the movie was good enough to forgive that sin.
Overall Logan Lucky is a movie that I think everybody should see. Steven Soderbergh is back and better than ever with this hilarious, heartfelt film that is full of amazing performances. The writing is tight and hilarious, the performances (from literally every person) are amazing, and the music in the film is wonderful. Honestly Logan Lucky manages to thrust itself into contention for my favourite film of the year.
I give Logan Lucky an A