Get lucky and watch Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky

(US, 2017)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Review by Barbara Popel

The Logan family is infamous throughout Boone County, West Virginia for their bad luck – the “Logan Family Curse.” For example, Aunt Maggie won a lottery in 1983 and then lost her ticket. The Logans are decent folks but can’t seem to get a lucky break.

Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) had his moment of glory as a high-school football star. After working as a coal miner, he has a job on an underground construction crew. Bad luck strikes – the construction company lays him off due to an insurance liability issue because Jimmy hadn’t declared his bum knee when he signed up for the job. And he really needs those paycheques – he wants to hire a lawyer because his former wife (Katie Holmes) has remarried and is taking their adorable little daughter Sadie to Tennessee.

Jimmy’s younger brother Clyde (Adam Driver) had two army tours of duty in Iraq. On his way to the airport at the end of his second tour, a roadside mine on the road exploded. He lost his left hand and part of his arm. Now he has a prosthetic arm and works as a bartender in the Duck Tape road house.

Their sister Mellie (Riley Keough) has a dull job as a hairdresser. Her only pleasure in life is driving fast cars. She gets stopped a lot for speeding.

But Jimmy has a plan and a 10-point set of rules to rob a bank! (Probably something he found on Google.) He convinces Clyde and Mellie to help him steal money from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Jimmy knows a lot about the racetrack because that’s where his construction job was. All the cash from the concessions is stored on site in an underground bank vault and Jimmy knows how they move the cash from the concessions – an underground pneumatic tube sends the money to the vault.

So they need a bank-vault demolition expert. The best one (the only one?) they know is behind bars. His name is Joe Bang (“introducing Daniel Craig” doing a hilarious Southern-fried accent). Joe is dubious at first – “You Logans must be as simple-minded as people say!” He eventually comes around and agrees to join the robbers, providing his two dumb-as-a-post brothers are brought into the robbery. But first, Jimmy and Clyde have to break Joe out of prison in broad daylight, then get him back into prison before anyone notices he’s gone.


What follows is one of the most laugh-out-loud heist capers you’ll ever see, 

complete with lots of complications (Jimmy’s rules #7 and #9 for robbing a bank are “s–t happens” and “remember, s–t happens”) that force them to commit the robbery on the Speedway’s busiest day – the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 race. And there’s an implacable FBI agent (Hillary Swank) sniffing around.

I won’t spoil the fun for you by describing the antics during the rest of the film, except to tell you to watch for Mellie and her bottles of nail polish. And to say that you will never again view Daniel Craig in quite the same way – his unhinged performance has to be seen to be believed.

After the Coca-Cola 600 race, a TV newsman refers to the thieves as “Ocean’s 7-Eleven.” It’s a perfect reference to director Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy of crackerjack heist caper films Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen! But unlike those films, Logan Lucky has you cheering for these unpolished Red State folks who are just striving to get lucky.

Running time:119 minutes
Rated: PG13
Available: Apple TV, Cineplex, Crave Starz, Google Play, Microsoft, Starz, Super Channel, YouTube Movies

Barb Popel has been an avid filmgoer since the early 1970s. In her twice-monthly column Magic in the Dark in, Barb recommends upcoming films at the ByTowne and the Mayfair.

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