“Logan Lucky” is an American crime comedy directed by Steven Soderbergh (“Ocean’s Eleven”); starring Channing Tatum (“Foxcatcher”), Adam Driver (“Frances Ha”), and Daniel Craig (“Layer Cake”). I would describe “Logan Lucky” as a heist movie with moments of comedy rather than a comedy which depicts a heist, because although it’s funny in places it doesn’t constantly throw jokes at the audience.
The heist itself is well thought out and you can tell that Soderbergh knows how to craft a film of this ilk, but the twists and turns in the movie aren’t particularly compelling because there’s no persuasive reason to care about the characters.
In order to make Jimmy Logan – this film’s protagonist played by Channing Tatum – likeable Soderbergh does the typical Hollywood thing of giving him a child. Usually this is designed to artificially make the lead character relatable because almost everyone has/had a family and therefore can relate to the parent-child dynamic. Unfortunately this doesn’t work in “Logan Lucky” because the relationship between Jimmy and his child isn’t carefully explored and it doesn’t feel as though he’s doing the heist to make his daughter’s life better.
There’s a suggestion that Jimmy plans the heist because his ex-wife (played by Katie Holmes) wants to move across state lines with his daughter, but it isn’t clear whether or not this would be a bad thing for the child. Essentially Jimmy has a conversation with his ex-wife which ends in the revelation that she plans to leave town. Jimmy isn’t happy about this and so he threatens to get a lawyer, presumably to fight for custody. The implication is that he needs money to do this which leads to the heist, but because Bobbie Jo (Jimmy’s ex-wife) isn’t particularly dislikeable or antagonistic you don’t feel as though the child would be any worse off without her father; therefore the heist feels selfish rather than necessary.
Of course, Jimmy doesn’t have to be likeable for this movie to work. “Logan Lucky” would’ve been fine if it had been a witty and action-packed heist movie but slow pacing and a lack of conflict means that it falls flat. There are moments of comedy such as when a group of prison inmates take hostages and demand a copy of George R. R. Martin’s unwritten “Winds of Winter” before agreeing to release them, but a couple of good jokes don’t make up for a largely uneventful film.
Almost all the performances in “Logan Lucky” are acceptable and the cast is excellent on the whole: Adam Driver and Daniel Craig are great, Channing Tatum and Riley Keough (“It Comes at Night”) are perfectly serviceable, and Brian Gleeson (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) and Jack Quaid (“The Hunger Games”) play likeable side characters. However, the actors’ efforts don’t translate to an entertaining movie because nothing brings individual elements such as the script and the cinematography together in an exciting way.
It’s clear that Soderbergh cares about the presentation of “Logan Lucky” and by all accounts it’s a visually interesting film, but he doesn’t do enough to bring clarity to the narrative. The film has three clearly defined acts; the set-up, the heist, and the aftermath. The first two acts work well and although the pacing is slightly arduous my perception of the movie would’ve been positive if I’d left the cinema once the heist was complete, but sadly the third act lacks direction, is predictable, and bafflingly introduces new characters!
From the moment the heist finishes to the time the credits roll “Logan Lucky” is a pain to watch. Soderbergh comprehensively destroys the rest of the movie in the space of 30 minutes and makes you wish you hadn’t bothered buying a ticket in the first place, so it’s hard to say that the overall product is good.
I feel that the best way to describe “Logan Lucky” is confused. The performances, dialogue, and cinematography are great but it doesn’t entertain and nothing about it is special. The third act is completely forgettable and audience members would be forgiven for falling asleep before the end which makes it a difficult movie to praise. “Logan Lucky” certainly isn’t awful and parts of it are done well, but nothing about it is exceptional so I would advise that you give it a miss.