Movie Review | Logan Lucky
Summary: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. (IMDb)
Strangely, the name ‘Logan’ is two for two when it comes to being in the title of a good film this year. Actually, better than good. Logan was fantastic, and Logan Lucky probably falls just a fraction short of that bar – also in a completely different genre, to be fair – but is still very good indeed.
Logan Lucky is a ‘snowball’ movie, in that it starts off a little slowly, but just keeps picking up more and more momentum as the film goes on. In fact, you might be a little disappointed that the film is over because you end up having so much fun with the characters involved.
The plot is kicked off when Channing Tatum’s character, Jimmy Logan, loses his job and enlists his brother Clyde, played by Adam Driver, to pull off a heist that, naturally, doesn’t seem to go as planned, although you’ll definitely be entertained by how everything turns out.
For a film with such a strong comedic element, it’s a little odd to see Tatum, who has shown how incredibly funny he can be in the Jump Street movies, almost playing the straight man in comparison to some of the other colourful characters involved.
That isn’t to say he doesn’t have his share of funny moments, but Riley Keough, as Mellie Logan, probably gets the most humour out of her family members, but they are all overshadowed by a wonderful, brilliantly funny performance by Daniel Craig as explosives expert Joe Bang.
Make no mistake, the Logan family might be the titular characters, but this is Craig's/Joe Bang’s film. Every moment he is on-screen is golden, and his absence is felt when he’s not shown. For an actor primarily known for more serious roles, Craig shows just how talented he is by playing this role.
Now, if that was all there was to the film, it would probably have felt a little insubstantial even with the great performances, but there’s a nice emotional undercurrent involving Tatum’s character and his daughter by his ex-wife, who has sole custody but allows him to visit and take her out occasionally (by the way, Katie Holmes is good, and was almost unrecognisable to me as Jimmy’s ex).
The film’s plot revolves around the heist at a racetrack on race day, including the prison break to get Joe Bang involved, but the heart is the relationship between Jimmy and his daughter, Sadie, culminating in a sweet scene at a talent show where she proves she is her father’s daughter.
Their relationship is the best out of a number of great pairings during the course of the film, with practically every member of the cast having great chemistry with whoever they are paired up with in any given scene.
In fact, the only performance that doesn’t really gel is Seth McFarlane as Max Chilblain, a social media obsessed energy drink tycoon. He is the only purely comedic character with no other purpose than to be funny and the humour falls a little flat without the nuance of the other characters.
Sebastian Stan also suffers as a result, playing a racing driver Chilblain sponsors, whose character has even less depth, existing solely to provide a minor form of comeuppance to Chilblain’s annoying, weak character. Stan is a good actor and is really wasted here – you could almost cut him completely from the script and you’d affect very little in terms of the plot.
The only other problem is the pacing, which does seem to be a little off, with the film going on just that little bit too long after the heist is over. It’s only a minor problem, because you’ll enjoy spending time with these characters, but it feels like the director couldn’t let go and a certain unquantifiable something is lost as a result.
Logan Lucky is a great movie filled with humour and heart that just about anyone should enjoy. The performances are all great, even despite plenty of the actors playing against their usual type - or maybe because of it. Either way, this is one of the most fun films of 2017.