Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Rebecca Blunt
Steven Soderbergh has made quite a career with caper films such as his popular Ocean’s series with George Clooney. Here we have a different crew, southern locale, and actors trying to pull off their attempts at accents. There is some mystery over the writer as she has no other credits for writing and this seems to be her first film. Yet for the most part the film is fresh and dialogues is filled with many quotable lines. Plot wise there is one issue that seems to have slipped by both the writer and the director – timing.
Here comes the spoilers.
As with all of his Ocean’s films, Soderbergh relies heavily on everything going exactly to plan. Even things going wrong in some of his films are still part of the plan. This occurs so often that it is borderline deus ex machina. The same goes for this film. In Logan Lucky we have a great cast with Channing Tatum, Danial Craig, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank, and Katie Holmes. Tatum plays Jimmy Logan, who starts the film off with losing his job over a insurance issue with his construction job due to his limp from a old high school injury. Jimmy and his brother played by Adam Driver come from a long line of unlucky Logan’s. Jimmy wants to chance their fortunes by planning a heist and using his knowledge of his former work location to pull it off. The job he had was fixing the underground area of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Once they enlist the help of Joe Bang. Only issue is Joe is in prison and months away from his early release. This conflicts with the timing as the construction job is found to be ahead of schedule to complete. Jimmy has to enlist prison inmates, Joe Bang and his younger brothers Sam and Fish, and his sister Mellie. That is a lot of people to be in on the heist, but it works for the most part. The issues remain on timing.
Time is constant, and timing is everything. Jimmy and crew seems to always have time on their side. Jimmy is able to pull off the heist and still make it to his daughter’s talent show performance AND go back and retrieve his brother’s prosthetic arm which was left behind initially at the scene of the crime. That is some great timing that seems to forget the distances he needed to travel were simply not within reason to make it there and back again. Unless the film uses Game of Throne’s timing in regards to ravens. Yet beyond this timing issue is the perfect imperfectly happening to the crew. Jimmy’s brother and Joe Bang get spotted leaving the scene by Seth MacFarlane and his disgruntled race driver but due to a convenient coincidence they differ on accounts of what happened. In the end everyone gets to reunite months later all happy that everything went according to plan. Yet Soderbergh ends the film like his Ocean’s films with a loose string with an agent still on the case. Great for setting up a sequel, but where do you take the story to next? This crew isn’t with the same flair for the international that the Ocean’s crew had.
Then how do we fix these issues? Let the film get messy. Something has to go wrong. Have Jimmy be late for his daughter’s performance. She can still break the first song and restart with the other one. Let things get messy with the Logan’s and Bang’s. Let them get into fights and arguments. Because that is what normal people would do. Jimmy didn’t let everyone in on his plan so there would’ve been lots of fighting. Yet the film gets by too ‘clean’ storywise and that is such a shame for as refreshing a setting thus film is set in. Sometimes you have to let things go wrong and let the story get messy. That is what keeps it rooted in some sort of reality.
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