Having taken a four-year hiatus from feature-film directing, focusing his attention on the small-screen with The Knick, the always-brilliant Steven Soderbergh makes his return to the silver-screen with Logan Lucky. And it's a welcomed return, indeed.

Our eponymous Logan Brothers - Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde (Adam Driver) - aren't as "lucky" as the film's title suggests. When they find themselves in a tricky spot, the pair return to their youthful criminal days and attempt to pull off a grand heist during one of the busiest racing events of the year in North Carolina. However, they can't do so without the help of their sister Mellie (Riley Keough) and the appropriately named bank vault blower, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). So, the Brothers go about recruiting Bang's help and planning out this robbery and we have ourselves a heist film. Soderbergh is no stranger to this crime film subgenre, having helmed all 3 of the brilliant Oceans Trilogy (there is even a nice nod to those films, with the NASCAR heist being dubbed the "Oceans 7-11") and Logan Lucky matches them all blow for blow. This is as wonderful a crime caper as they come.
This a film about family and it boasts a big heart and charm that is infectious and warm. We root for these characters and we empathise with them; the Logan Brothers are perennially unlucky, and we want to see them succeed and pull off this heist. The film is pensive in carving out its characters and relationships, taking a lot of time and effort to really expand upon them and connect with the audience and we find ourselves thoroughly invested in these various arcs and characters and it really adds a lot of nuance and weight to the proceedings. The writing is sharp, not only does it superbly realise this story but it's hilarious too; there is a surprising deal of wonderful wit hidden within the script and the film has plenty of genuinely brilliant and funny humour on offer. Really, Logan Lucky is just a delight; it's a film that is light on its feet and one that never takes itself too seriously and just sets out to have fun. It's perhaps very simplistic on a surface level as a result, with the film's main - and only - focus being on this main heist storyline but it works really well, nonetheless.

Soderbergh's direction here is astute: the cinematography is crisp and stunning; the editing is slick; thematically, this film works, and tonally too, it exceeds. It's a film that wears its heart on its sleeve and is rollicking fun. It perhaps falters in its opening act, taking a while to get the ball rolling - it's necessary character development but given how quickly paced and energetic the rest of the film is as soon as things get in gear, it can't help but feel slow - but it's quick to find its footing and get things moving. Of course, as is the case with any Soderbergh film, the ensemble is stellar and everyone brings their A-game. Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Riley Keough are terrific as the Logan siblings; their chemistry is veritable and their rich familial bond is believable and they bounce off of each other tremendously. There is some good support from the likes of Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, Sebastian Stan too, amongst others - even the always great Hilary Swank pops up towards the end. However, it's undoubtedly Daniel Craig's wild, blonde-haired Joe Bang that steals the show here; undeniably charismatic and hilarious, Bang is a scene-stealer and Craig is clearly having the time of his life in such a crazy role.
As is with any heist film, Logan Lucky even has a few surprises hidden up its sleeve and it constantly manages to keep the audience guessing. Soderbergh, once again, has made a brilliant film. Logan Lucky is simple in nature and just as much so in its execution, but never to a detriment. Because of Soderbergh's tight script and slick orchestration of the narrative and the characters, as well as a plethora of memorable performances, Logan Lucky stands out. In a Summer Blockbuster Season rife with loads of great, unconventional films, Lucky is another addition to the ever-growing list of films that stick out (in a year already overstuffed with quality cinema). This film is just fun. So much damn fun. It's cool, witty, warm, stylish and then some. But, most importantly, Logan Lucky is absolutely fucking awesome!

VERDICT:
Logan Lucky is as witty and delightful as it is suave and stylish; Steven Soderbergh returns to the silver screen with an awesome, walloping bang.
 
 

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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