Who would’ve thought that Steven Soderbergh’s most recent film, a heist movie, would have a reference to Ocean’s Eleven, his other heist film from 2001? Probably a lot of people. There are actually quite a few similarities between the two, but there’s only so much you can do with a movie about breaking into a largely populated area and sneaking out with huge sums of money. One difference between that movie and Logan Lucky, though, is that there’s more of an emotional motivation behind the heist in Ocean’s Eleven, while Channing Tatum’s plan to rob a NASCAR speedway in this movie didn’t have as clear an incentive.
This is a star-studded picture, for sure. With big names like Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane, Hillary Swank, Sebastian Stan, and Katie Holmes, it often feels like some of those actors were brought in simply to be in the movie. A few of them didn’t contribute a thing to the plot, or if they did it was a minor, seemingly last-minute contribution. The performances, though, were top-notch pretty much across the board. Both Daniel Craig and Adam Driver especially impressed me, and their characters were the ones I sensed the most authenticity in.
I enjoyed this film for the most part, mainly because I love heist films in general. I enjoy watching people come together to plot out an elaborate scheme and steal something big. Seeing the different parts of the plan come together in Logan Lucky, the tiny details that would cause the entire heist to fall apart if any of them went wrong, was extremely intriguing to me. I loved the careful planning and the carrying out of the theft, as I do in most heist movies.
Where the problems came was in the mix of tones that the movie presents. At times it’s a pure crime film, with intense scenes where you wonder if the characters will get the job done and make it out alive. Other times, though, it tries to be a comedy, or even a heartwarming family drama. Sometimes those tones didn’t mesh with one another, and I wasn’t quite sure that the film knew what it wanted to be. When it was in between subplots trying to squeeze in another big Hollywood star, I was bored trying to decide if I should be interested or not.
Right as you think it’s ending, what seems like a whole new movie begins that involves the FBI, and it feels incredibly tacked-on. It’s hiccups like that in the structure of Logan Lucky, whether big or small, that make it feel like a bit of a mess. I loved virtually all of the performances, and the characters were entertaining, but I wish the writer had had more of a grasp on the story they were trying to tell in order to make it a more cohesive and overall fun to watch film.
— Camden McDonald