Seen 4th September
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch once suggested that there were 7 kinds of stories and that we’re merely finding ways to retell those 7 basic stories over and over again. Logan Lucky might be the clearest evidence I’ve seen of that idea in a very long time.
Logan Lucky tells the story of the Logan Brothers, Jimmy and Clyde. These two men have had a pretty hard life with Jimmy being unable to get work due to a football injury and Clyde losing an arm in the Iraq war… so, ya know, they’re about equal. Tired of their life at the bottom of the rung, the two men decide it’s time to give something new a try… robbing the Nascar Speedway. To get through this heist they’re going to need a weapons expert, his two friends, some help from their sister and a whole lot of luck for everything to go just right.
…yes, I just described the plot of Southern Oceans 11. That’s all this movie is, it’s the same film you saw from Soderbergh way back in 2001, down to the celebrity cast and the misdirections that covered how they pulled everything off. Beat for beat it’s the same film, the only thing that’s changed is that it’s in a rural location, everyone has a silly accent (Can we make a pact to never ask Daniel Craig to try a southern accent again? Can that be a thing we do as the human race) and we can’t quite get stars as big as Clooney or Pitt.
The script is serviceable, albeit long. By the time the heist is done you expect it to be over but nope, gotta point out the FBI got involved and everything else. There are also some moments where it feels like they cut out a joke or did some weird editing thing that is just off-putting, which isn’t a feeling I wanna have while watching a heist movie. Especially one that I’ve seen this exact director do better nearly 2 decades ago.
The cast itself is fine, although I find it hard to believe that Channing Tatum and Adam Driver are brothers. I’m sorry, I don’t expect perfect twins but a family resemblance would be nice. Both are good in their parts, I just think making them brothers was arbitrary and not needed. Also, no one put facial hair on Seth MacFarlane again. Not only was his voice completely wrong and off-putting, but he looked a little like he should be on some list that keeps him 100 feet away from a school.
In general the characters didn’t feel like they were characters, but a list of quirks waiting to be addressed. Tatum is the former football star with a bad knee, Driver is the Iraq War vet without an arm, Craig plays the criminal with high blood pressure (Does anyone believe that Daniel Craig would have any kind of medical problem? No, I don’t either, but it’s a plot point!), there’s the yokel sons who are smarter than they look, the stage mom, the annoyingly kind father-in-law, the professor and Mary Anne, they’re all there and none of them feel like full characters, they rely heavily on the charisma of the actors to make them seem real but after a few minutes of thought, they don’t feel like actual characters.
It’s not like the film is bad, but we saw it before and it was done pretty much perfectly when we last saw it, I don’t get why we need this version of it. It’s a decent film that’s going to kill a few hours without offense, but it’s not going to be remembered like Oceans 11 was. It’s not a bombshell film, it’s not going to change things, it’s barely going to be remembered by the time you exit the cinema. It’s fine, it’s fun, but it’s not great and it’s not over the top enough to push through its problems like Hitman’s Bodyguard was able too.
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