Published Aug 18, 2017As the director behind Ocean's Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen, Steven Soderbergh knows a thing or two about creating a well-crafted heist movie — maybe a little too much. In Logan Lucky, Soderbergh swaps settings from the floors of Las Vegas casinos and international hot spots to something a bit more relatable to the average American: Charlotte Motor Speedway, the site of NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600.
Channing Tatum (Soderbergh's Magic Mike series) and Adam Driver (TV's Girls) play a pair of brothers named Jimmy and Clyde — a former football prospect whose knee injury cut his career short and a former marine/bartender/amputee, respectively — who decide to make a couple million by robbing a North Carolina raceway (and on the busiest weekend of the year, no less).
Like every film from the Ocean's franchise, Soderbergh starts off by establishing the movie's bit players (Riley Keough as the Logan brothers' equally scheming sister; Daniel Craig as Joe Bang, an incarcerated criminal with explosives experience; and Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid as Joe's brothers Sam and Fish Bang, who take care of the comic relief where actors like Casey Affleck and Scott Caan once did). From there, it's all about the heist, with Soderbergh setting it up like a magic trick, only to shamelessly explain the big reveal by film's end (and break it down once again, and even further, for good measure).
You've seen this sort of thing before, which is why Soderbergh overcompensates by ramping up the hamminess; in doing so, he makes the on-the-nose depictions of his working class characters a little troubling.
Logan Lucky is being positioned as a hillbilly heist film, but it's more like a wolf in sheep's clothing, pretending to be redneck one minute — what with its characters' sporting Bob Seger shirts, high-blood pressure problems, trucks with stick shifts and John Denver CDs — while making fun of their affectations and interests the next.