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Channing Tatum Leads All-Star Caper Comedy "Logan Lucky": Review


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Film Review: Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky, the new movie from Steven Soderbergh, is the perfect distraction from life. It's funny, breezy, and not too deep. An excellent choice for people who want to see a fun summer movie that isn't a sequel or reboot of something. 

The movie stars Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan, a blue-collar worker who has recently been fired from his construction job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jimmy, along with his brother Clyde (Adam Driver), a war veteran with a prosthetic arm, come up with a plan to rob the vault at the Speedway. They enlist the help of Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), an expert safecracker who's currently incarcerated. Also helping out with the heist is Jimmy and Clyde's sister, Mellie (Riley Keough) and Joe Bang's dumb brothers (Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson). Katie Holmes appears as Jimmy's ex-wife, Bobbi Jo, who is planning on moving their daughter (Farrah Mackenzie) to Lynchburg, Virginia from Boone County, West Virginia. Seth MacFarlane has a couple of scenes as an obnoxious British business mogul sponsoring one of the cars (which is driven by Sebastian Stan)in the NASCAR race. Katherine Waterston plays a love interest of Jimmy's and Hilary Swank turns up late in the film as an FBI agent investigating the robbery.

Tatum is excellent as the glue holding together the cast of kooky characters. He is especially great in the scenes with Mackenzie, as Logan Lucky is, at its heart, a father-daughter story. I don't like every performance Adam Driver gives, but I enjoyed this one. Keough is proving to have quite an indelible screen presence, so much so that you wish Mellie was given more to do. Holmes makes the most of her few short scenes as Tatum's snappish ex, even if that character isn't developed as much as it should have been. It was so great seeing Holmes having fun in a big movie with an all-star cast, as most of her screen credits the past few years have been in dark indies. The rest of the supporting cast was either hit-or-miss; the major hits being Craig as the smarter-than-he-looks Joe Bang and Swank's straight-laced FBI agent Sarah Grayson. The layers she hints at in the final scene of the movie make me want to see a spinoff focused on her character. The major miss, for me, was MacFarlane and his bizarre (bad?) British accent. 

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Large chunks of plot are entirely skipped over and key information is withheld from the audience, both to the film's detriment because the audience must wait to react to the character's actions because we don't always know the reasoning behind them. Also, a couple of scenes play out for too long and it slows the pace down in a couple of spots. And the movie's two-hour running time feels excessive for what it's trying to accomplish. 

Steven Soderbergh has never really been a director who's work I sought out. The only films of his that I think I have seen are Contagion, which I liked, and Side Effects, which I did not like. But Logan Lucky is strong enough to make me want to see his Ocean's trilogy, as he clearly has a grasp on the heist genre. Logan Lucky isn't the funniest movie of the year, and it's definitely not the most thought-provoking movie of the year, but it is a perfectly enjoyable way to spend two hours. 

What did YOU think of Logan Lucky? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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