Steven Soderbergh is responsible for many good things. Traffic, Oceans Eleven. Even his later efforts such as Side Effects and his foray into television with The Girlfriend Experience (and the film itself) are quite solid. I actually didn’t keep up and realize he retired from film, only to return with Logan Lucky. I definitely was excited for this film though as it looked to be a comedic heist film along the lines of Ocean’s Eleven, just with a southern twist. I have to say, Logan Lucky has exceeded my expectations and is a ton of fun from start to finish.
The film is about Jimmy Logan who recently gets fired at his job and his plans to pull off a heist during the Coca-Cola 600 race. He recruits his one handed brother, his sister, bomb making expert from prison, and his two rather dim-witted brothers. As with Oceans Eleven the heist is slick and smart. There are comedic moments throughout which just makes the heist so much for fun. As with many of Soderbergh’s previous efforts there are memorable characters littered throughout the film and nearly all of them are likable.
I think the best of the bunch is Daniel Craig in the most bizarre role you will ever see him in. He’s a cooky, quotable, yet very smart criminal who knows exactly what he is doing. Apparently the screenwriter for this film is a Rebecca Blunt, who no one in the cast has actually met. This leads me to think that Soderbergh is using a pseudonym and not for the first time in his career. No shame in hiding from a very well written film. There’s probably holes and things that could have been written better near the end but it doesn’t take away from the overall quality of the film.
The film is quite self-aware. They have a knock on the film calling it the “Oceans 7/11”. Everything link together and gels quite nicely as you would expect with a remarkable heist film. Soderbergh’s cinematography is usually very good and as usual that’s no different here. This “Peter Andrews” is very good at that, huh? I think above all the chemistry and comedic timing with the characters is what makes this film a very positive viewing experience. There’s never a dull moment, and if there is a dull moment its through one of the characters literally having a dull moment where they forget something during the heist. Overall, its up there in Soderbergh’s filmography and is likely the last good film of the summer.