Energetic, fast-paced and boasting an all-star cast – Logan Lucky ticks all of the boxes of a classic American heist movie.
Director Steven Soderbergh is probably best known for his Ocean’s trilogy and the Channing-Tatum-ogling Magic Mike. So it’s little surprise that, given the versatility and diversity of his previous films, Logan Lucky is just as different again.
There are resonances of the Ocean’s Eleven concept – an unlikely group of would-be criminals plot an extravagant robbery with plenty of dry humour – but the main difference is that the characters aren’t the high-class, suave suits of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Instead Logan Lucky brings a different kind of criminal to the fore, in that these are working-class people with very real everyday struggles.
But swapping the dapper men in well-cut suits for desperate rednecks pays off. Channing Tatum is endearing in his role as Jimmy Logan – a divorced dad from West Virginia who has just been laid off because of his noticeable limp. His one armed bartender brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), doesn’t take much persuading when Jimmy enlists him to take part in an armed robbery. Jimmy’s plan is simple – to steal from the NASCAR motor race on Memorial Day.
It’s a family affair, as their wonderfully sassy hairdresser sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), plays a vital part in ensuring the smooth running of this elaborate operation. Jimmy’s personal life provides a brief respite from the lightning pace of the plot, with some adorable scenes exploring his relationship with his daughter, highlighting his struggle to be a strong role-model and provider for his family. Throw in a hilariously convincing Daniel Craig who plays Joe Bang, a mad explosives expert with a bleach blonde buzz cut, and you get one rollickingly good heist movie.
Logan Lucky delivers on everything, from a fantastic cast and clever script to non-stop action. While there’s clearly some Trump-country mockery going on in the characterisation, Soderbergh stays sensitive to the issues of unemployment, financial struggle and family strife that are part of everyday life for many in America.
Logan Lucky is in cinemas from 17 August.