ogan Lucky is indeed Steven Soderbergh’s return to feature filmmaking form, and it should come as a delight to Soderbergh fans everywhere when I say that Logan Lucky is every bit as fun and well-made as any of the filmmaker’s other directorial outings.
Based on a screenplay by Rebecca Blunt, Logan Lucky follows Jimmy and Clyde Logan, a pair of down-on-their-luck Southern brothers who conspire to steal money from a racetrack on the busiest day of summer. Along the way, the Logan brothers recruit a number of neighbours and relatives to their cause, including their speedster sister, Mellie, a convicted pyrotechnics expert appropriately named Joe Bang, and Joe’s cantankerous brothers.
Tatum leads the film and gives possibly his best performance to date as Jimmy Logan, a man stuck clinging onto the anonymity of the pre-social media old days, while trying to become financially stable enough to be a good role model for his daughter, Sadie. His relationships with Sadie and Driver’s Clyde emerge as the film's strongest emotional threads, and Driver and Tatum do a good job at creating a history between the two brothers from their first scene together that makes their kinship that much more believable. They both give complex and understated performances in their roles, even when they’re threatened to be outshone by characters like Joe Bang, with Daniel Craig, in particular, giving a scene-stealing performance as the convicted former bank robber.
The film takes on an overly leisurely pace in its first half leading up to the robbery. While that time is dedicated to the planning of the heist and the introduction of the characters, it’s hard not to leave Logan Lucky feeling like its two-hour runtime could have been shaved down closer to an hour and 45 minutes without losing anything necessary along the way. The fact that the movie isn’t severely hurt by the slow pacing of that first half, though, is only a testament to how well-done and genuinely entertaining the rest of Logan Lucky is, with it having one of the best final acts of any film so far this year.
Soderbergh has made a film that not only constantly pokes fun at its own characters and their lives, but finds a way to imbue each of them with a soul and heart along the way. Logan Lucky being a fun, slick, and cool ride shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with Soderbergh’s work.