Director Steven Soderbergh does good work, but he announced a retirement from film a few years ago, at least as a director.
He’s got a new directorial effort in theaters right now, another heist film called Logan Lucky, and we’re all better off for it.
Meet the Logan siblings of West Virginia. Older brother Jimmy (Channing Tatum) is divorced, has a cute daughter, and a bad injury playing football in high school cost him a chance to go to college and, in the opening minutes of the movie, his current job in construction for liability reasons. Younger brother Clyde (Adam Driver) lost his lower arm in Iraq and believes the family is cursed. Sister Mellie (Riley Keough) is a speed-queen hairdresser. Things don’t seem to be going right for any of the Logans, and none of them seem particularly bright.
They actually are pretty bright, which is a plus for the movie.
At any rate, Jimmy has a plan to rob the local NASCAR arena of a huge pay-out, and he needs his siblings’ help, plus one Joe Bang (Daniel Craig, listed as being “introduced” in the credits), a demolition expert currently sitting in a nearby prison with only a few months left on his sentence. Bang will help so long as his two dim-witted brothers get to help as well. Jimmy agrees. Now he just has to deal with the consequences of the heist being on the same day as his young daughter’s beauty pageant.
The plan is actually a thing of beauty, and Craig steals every scene he’s in with his cartoonish Southern accent and overall competence. The movie itself does reference one of Soderbergh’s best-known movies by having a character on a TV news program refer to the robbery as “Ocean’s 7-11,” and it’s an apt comparison. Jimmy and his family have a really good plan going, with their own ingenious, generally low-tech ways to get things done, and only a few relatively minor obstacles get in the way. About the only thing I didn’t care for was Seth MacFarlane’s English accent (it’s terrible). This one is just some nice, comedic summer fun. Nine and a half mysterious bears out of ten.
NASCAR fans might want to take note than a number of NASCAR drivers have cameos in the movie in various small roles as things like delivery drivers and security guards. I am not a NASCAR fan, so I did not notice this.