2 Stars – Intriguing
With a humor that was lacking from Hell or High Water, and with a complexity that would satisfy the staunchest Mission: Impossible fan, Steven Soderbergh has created a wonderful tale in Logan Lucky. Using the skill he demonstrated in directing Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve, Soderbergh repeats the sting on the audience as he creates a southern hillbilly crew instead of the sophisticated ensemble in those films.
The lead character of this West Virginia family is Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum). A former high school star who blew his knee causing him to lose his family and his dignity, Jimmy is down on his luck. Visiting his brother Clyde (Adam Driver), who is bartender at the local bar, he hears once more Clyde’s recitation of the “Logan Curse” - the most obvious proof of which is Clyde’s loss of his hand in the Gulf War. But Jimmy is not convinced and neither is their sister Mellie (Kiley Keough). Instead they hatch a scheme to steal the cash of the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This plan is possible because of Jimmy’s firsthand knowledge of the pneumatic system that delivers the cash to a impregnable vault when he worked there.
Needing help, the Logan family solicits the help of a known vault expert, Joe Bank (Daniel Craig). The only problem is that he is incarcerated. It is then that the complexity of the story begins. It is not disappointing. We won’t spoil either the humor or the unexpected twists and turns to the tale.
Also present in the story is Jimmy’s ex-wife Bobbie Jo Chapman (Katie Holmes) and their daughter Sadie Logan (Farrah Mackenzie). Having married into wealth after she and Jimmy divorced, Bobbie Jo struggles with Jimmy’s poverty as well as her daughter’s admiration and love for him. This struggle adds another level to the story that shows both the depth of the Logan love as well as the possibilities for the Logan luck.
Rounding out the tale is a very persistent FBI special agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank) and an alluring nurse named Silvia Harrison (Katherine Waterston). These two set the stage for the ongoing tale that we hope Soderbergh will tell!
- The portrayal of the southern hillbilly way of life could imply that southerners were not intelligent. But one of the values of the film is that this is shown to be false. What prejudices do you experience because of areas of the country from which you come?
- It is hard to overcome difficulties like a blown NFL career or the loss of an arm. Where do you turn when life is difficult? How do you find your way?
- The implication that the insurance company made everything right, implies that it was not wrong to steal. Why do you think that is? Why is there such a popular misconception?