Logan Lucky (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Logan Lucky</strong> (2017)

(On Cable TV, May 2018) Only maverick filmmaker Stephen Soderbergh could tackle Logan Lucky, going over such extremely familiar material (a heist movie à la Ocean’s Eleven) that another director might have been accused of copycatting. But, of course, Soderbergh never does things like others, and so Logan Lucky takes the large-scale heist down the social classes to NASCAR-obsessed West Virginia/North Carolina, with blue-collar protagonists motivated by larger economic forces. The exceptional casting (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, etc.) is fantastic, but the real draw here is the way the script is handled with blockbuster entertainment savvy by Soderbergh. The intricate heist plot multiplies one gambit after another, creating a dense tapestry of tricks, plans and improvised manoeuvers in which even dupes unaware of any heist have a role to play—and, hilariously enough, are rewarded for it. Taking ideas for an Ocean’s Fourteen film and recasting in redneck country makes for a refreshing change of pace and unusual heroes, as characters that would be treated as hillbillies in other films here get a chance to prove that they’re criminal masterminds. Then, of course, there’s the idea that the film is handled in pure escapism mode, reaching for comedy as often as it can. (The ridiculous prison riot, complete with Game of Thrones references, is particularly funny.)  Logan Lucky is very successful, and counts as one of the year’s most delightful surprises.

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