Since his ‘retirement’ in 2013, after Behind The Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh hasn’t been resting on his laurels and, when this script arrived for him to find a director for, he liked it so much, he decided to up and do it himself. Or at least that’s one story he’s been telling people.
The Logan’s are an unlucky family. But Jimmy, Channing Tatum (The LEGO Batman Movie, The Hateful Eight), doesn’t believe the stories his brother Clyde, Adam Driver (Star Wars The Force Awakens, Midnight Special), is always telling.
When Jimmy’s ex, Bobbie, Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, Dawson’s Creek (TV)), announces she’s moving away with his daughter Sadie, Farrah Mackenzie (Selling Isobel, Nanny Cam), he decides he wants a lawyer.
First though, he needs money to pay for a lawyer and so he hatches a plan to steal the takings from a local race circuit, but to do that, they first need Joe Bang’s, Daniel Craig (Spectre, Cowboys & Aliens), help. Except he’s in jail.
And so, the circle of help grows ever wider as sister Mellie, Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road, American Honey), Joe’s brothers Fish Bang, Jack Quaid (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Running Wild), and Sam Bang, Brian Gleeson (Snow White And The Huntsman, Assassin’s Creed), sign-up to help.
Can the Logan’s break their unlucky curse and pull off an audacious heist in broad-daylight at a packed raceway? Or will their luck, run-out?
The studios don’t want Logan Lucky to work, that’s because Soderbergh created the film outside of their control. He raised the $29 million budget, got the cast to work for scale and sold off overseas distribution rights himself.
Now, personally, I don’t have any problems with ‘studios’. I think, if someone is giving you millions of dollars to make a film, it’s expected they are going to want some kind of input. However, the difficultly comes when it is next to impossible to distribute a film that hasn’t gone through the studio system, regardless of budget, and that’s what Soderbergh is attempting to disrupt.
He’s bucking the trend, going against the norm and wants others to follow suit. Even the script, credited to: Rebecca Blunt, appears to be part of the marketing as it is suspected that this is a pseudonym for an, as yet, unnamed, person.
So, has all this worked? Has, quite possibly, the biggest gamble of Steven Soderbergh’s career paid off?
Well, dosh-garn-it, slap my thigh and call me Rachel, it most certainly has. Logan Lucky is one of the best movies I have seen this year and one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.
The script is absolutely hilarious, everyone involved, even Seth MacFarlane (someone I’ve not been a fan of up to now) as a pompous Nascar racer, performs brilliantly.
Tatum and Driver are perfect as the two brothers and giving Driver one and a half arms allows for all sorts of comedy value. With the straight-faced Driver as a stand-out straight man.
Whilst both perform brilliantly, it’s Daniel Craig who demands attention each and every-time he appears on screen. That could partly be his shock of blonde hair, but it’s also the wonderful performance he puts in as Joe Bang.
Apparently, Craig was told to come up with the character all by himself by Soderbergh. The next anyone new, he turned up on set with a shock of blonde hair, covered in fake tattoos.
The story involving Tatum and his daughter is lovely and Tatum performs the daddy roll with aplomb. There’s a moment when Sadie is entering a beauty pageant that I thought we might be in for another Little Miss Sunshine moment, but instead we’re treated to the most moving part of the film, which leads into a new twist.
I was worried when I saw the film had an almost two-hour run-time but I needn’t have been. There is a moment, after the robbery, when the FBI get involved, that I started to wonder where it was all going to go, I felt like it could start running-away a little.
But worry not, Soderbergh, I mean, Blunt, pulls it back with a few delicious twists and turns that leave everyone happy and the possibility for a sequel.
This is a movie that fly’s close to Soderbergh’s other heist movies such as Ocean’s 11 and 12. We get short, sharp directing at times, snappy editing and montages that explain it all. But hey, if it works, why change it and, with Logan Lucky, it certainly works.
I cannot wax-lyrical enough about this film. I loved it, and I urge you all to head-out and spend your hard-earned cash to, not just watch a fantastically funny and, at times moving, film, but to also show the studio’s that they can learn a thing or two when they step back.