‘Logan Lucky’ is sure to make you smile


AP Film Writer

“Logan Lucky” is an easy movie to like, but maybe not love.

In his big return to film after a four-year hiatus, Steven Soderbergh has created a sort of cinematic bingo of his well of tricks. Heist movie? Check. Channing Tatum? Check. Not-so-subtle metaphors slipped in to genre stories about the state of the working-class man? Check. Dopey but reliable sidekick brothers? Check, check, check.

That’s not to say that “Logan Lucky” has nothing new to offer – it just feels unshakably familiar in a way that could irk some and feel like home to others.

The setting for this heist is West Virginia, where Tatum’s Jimmy Logan has just been laid off from his coal mining job because one of the higher-ups spotted him walking around with a limp. Like a distant cousin to Magic Mike, who supplemented waning construction work with stripping, Jimmy Logan is another side of the American dream dashed. Once a high-school football star with a promising future, Jimmy has ended up in the same place where he began, only slightly worse. He’s also got a young daughter, Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie), and an ex-wife (Katie Holmes) who has traded up for a middle class husband (David Denman) and may be moving.

His brother, Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) is a slow-talkin’ bartender who lost one of his arms serving in Iraq, but can still make a killer martini when an arrogant NASCAR sponsor played by Seth MacFarlane challenges him. And his sister, Mellie Logan (Riley Keough), is a no-nonsense hairdresser, drives a stick and has no time for try-hards like her ex-sister-in-law’s new husband.

The Logans, simply, are not going anywhere anytime soon, which is why they decide to try to take something back from the institutions that have failed to share the wealth. Their plan? To intercept the cash flow at a big NASCAR race.

They gather up some help in an incarcerated demolition savant, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig, who is hilarious), and his knucklehead but shrewd-enough brothers Fish (Jack Quaid) and Sam (Brian Gleeson) who say things like they “know all the things there is to know about computers” while playing horseshoes with toilet seats.

Suffice it to say, this is not some verite look at the world of coal miners and NASCAR lovers, nor is it an all-out comedy a la “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” Rather, it’s an interesting combination of the two, closest, probably to Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” but a lot sillier.

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