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LOGAN LUCKY review

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2017
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Katie Holmes, and Daniel Craig

30 years into to his critically and commercially celebrated career Steven Soderbergh shocked film fans around the world four years ago when he announced his retirement from movie making. One of the most successful directors in Hollywood decided to focus his creative energy on television projects after BEHIND THE CANDLEABRA failed to secure a theatrical release. LOGAN LUCKY marks Soderbergh's return to the big screen. He credits this decision to “a convergence of a couple of things, one technological, and one creative.” His frustration with the release models that all the major studios subscribe to pushed him out of their system but when he saw digital technologhy could allow a filmmaker to put a movie in wide release without involvement from a major studio, he wanted back in. On the creative side the screenplay written by Rebecca Blunt was originally given to Soderbergh so he could advise on potential directors. He immediately connected with the material and decided he didn't want anyone else to direct it.

Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is recently divorced, unemployed and desperately in need of money so he can stay close to his daughter. This former West Virginia coal miner conceives of an intricate plan to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Coca-Cola 600. A 600 mile race that draws close to 100,000 people every year. To pull this off Jimmy enlists the help of his one-armed (or as the film points out one-handed) brother Clyde (Adam Driver), a war veteran who makes ends meet by tending bar, and his hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough), who has a bit of an obsession with all things automotive.



Appellation eccentric, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) is an incarcerated demolition expert who the Logans join up with to pull off the heist. They just need to break him out of jail, rob the race, and sneak him back in before the warden (Dwight Yoakam) notices he's missing. Simple enough, right?

LOGAN LUCKY is a heist film unlike anything I've seen since the early 80's. OCEANS 11, 12, 13, OUT OF SIGHT and THE LIMEY are all Soderbergh films about career criminals who happen to be cooler or more bad-ass than anyone you've met in real life. The Logan's are not career criminals, they are not cooler than anyone you know, and they are in no way bad ass. These are deeply human characters that are flawed and turn to crime out of desperation. While the film is executed with the visual grace and natural charm that Soderbergh has become known for LOGAN LUCKY feels like something unique in his filmography. Its more akin to something like SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT or THE CANNONBALL RUN than MAGIC MIKE or CONTAGION. This is a different kind of heist film, one populated with down-to-Earth characters that are easy to pull for.

LOGAN LUCKY will be in theaters everywhere on Aug. 18th.



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