Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, Hilary Swank, Daniel Craig
Director: Steven Soderbergh
"We're dealing with science here," says Joe Bang, as he berates the Logan Brothers as the trio attempt to blow the safe. And a science is exactly what director Steven Soderbergh has made out of the heist movie genre. Since Ocean's Eleven, Soderbergh has been honing this particular aspect of his craft, and Logan Lucky shows off that skill.
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) isn't having the best couple of days. He's just been fired from his construction gig at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for liability issues (he limps) and his daughter is moving across state lines with his ex-wife and her new, far more solvent husband. And he bust his leg as a teenager, putting an end to what would probably have been a pretty lucrative NFL career, hence the limp. His bartending brother Clyde (Adam Driver) thinks that this is the manifestation of an old family curse that renders all Logans' luckless, usually with some personal tragedy to boot. Maybe Clyde's got something there, given than he's missing his forearm and hand, courtesy a tour of duty in Iraq. Their younger sister Mellie (Riley Keough) hasn't had any misfortune yet, though, so maybe Clyde just broods too much.
Jimmy sure has been, and he's come up with a plan to rip off the Speedway by breaking into their underground safe, which he's familiar with thanks to his former job there. But to break into a safe you need a safe breaker, and thus we are introduced to Daniel Craig as Joe Bang, a convicted safecracker, who's banged up shut in prison. Along with an initially reluctant Clyde, Jimmy manages to convince Joe Bang (it's too cool a name to shorten) as well as Joe Bang's two younger brothers , Fish and Sam, to attempt his plan; Mellie doesn't need any convincing luckily.
The next hour-and-a-half just glides on by as the plan unfolds like the author of The Secret's said the universe's would if you bought the books and DVDs.
Given his self-stated distress at having to continue to play James Bond, Daniel Craig comforts himself with, apart from the millions and millions of dollars the 007 franchise earns him, choosing to occasionally do unusual character roles. And Joe Bang is a character. Despite not attempting to overshadow his cast members, Craig as Joe Bang is the most arresting figure on the screen, pun unintended. That's not to say that the rest of the actors don't shine. As in all of Soderbergh's ensemble casts, every character is played to a T, right down to the Appalachian accents.
Indeed, the film features a pretty accurate portrayal of Appalachian life, from the breaking down of the coal mining industry to the fondness for child pagentry (Jimmy's daughter is a pagent prodigy) to 2014's chemical spill, which poisoned the water of hundreds of communities, as well as the karistic nature of West Virginia's mountains, given how vital underground caverns are to the plot. And of course, John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads providing an integral part of the film's soundscape.
Our favourite bit though, was when a prison riot breaks out and the prisoners take the prison guards hostage. On their list of demands is that the prison library starts stocking the Song of Ice and Fire series, including The Winds of Winter. The Warden's attempts to explain that George R R Martin is too busy with a gruelling session of promoting the Game of Thrones TV series and hasn't managed to finish the sixth book and that the show has infact crossed the events so far written, and the prisoners' return to rioting on hearing this mirrors all our feelings on this vital issue of our times. Seriously, get a-writing George. Till then, you should watch Logan Lucky.