Sunday, 10 December 2017

Logan Lucky film review

I went to see this film at the Leeds/Bradford Odeon with my friends.

IMDB says: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.

In this Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic) directed and Rebecca Blunt (as yet unidentified) written film, Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, Magic Mike) and Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Midnight Special) star as brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan who decide to rob NASCAR after Jimmy gets let go from his job.  With help from little sister Mellie (Riley Keough: The Good Doctor, Mad Max: Fury Road) and convicted safe-cracker Joe Bang (Daniel Craig: Skyfall, The Golden Compass) and his brothers Fish (Jack Quaid: The Hunger Games, Vineland) and Sam (Brian Gleeson: Snow White and the Huntsman, Assassin's Creed), they plan to take the money from the takings as the race is run.

Attending the Coca Cola 600 is British sports drink salesman Max Chilblain (Seth MacFarlane: A Million Ways to Die in the West, Ted), who had been disrespectful to Clyde about the fact that he had only one arm, despite the fact that it was lost in active service, and his sponsored driver Dayton White (Sebastian Stan: The Covenant, The Martian).

Will Jimmy, Clyde and Mellie make it back for Jimmy's daughter Sadie's (Farrah Mackenzie: Please Stand By, Nanny Cam) beauty pageant?


The film also stars Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, TVs Dawson's Creek) as Jimmy's ex-wife Bobbie Jo, her new husband Moody (David Denman: 13 Hours, Power Rangers) and sons Dylan (Boden Johnston in his first role) and Levi (Sutton Johnston: TVs Good Girls), as well as Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby, P.S. I Love You) as FBI Agent Sarah Grayson.

I wasn't at all sure what to expect from this movie, but once I took it for what I assume it was meant to be (light entertainment rather than a serious awards chaser, as Soderbergh himself said in describing the film an "anti-glam version of an Ocean's movie") I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  Yes, the characters were not very well set up, case in point, for a long time into the movie I thought that Mellie was Jimmy's girlfriend not his little sister and as the main characters wants and needs were not given, you did not feel invested in them as a viewer.  There were also a lot of inconsistencies, for example, why would Joe Bang want his brothers to help with the heist when one of them had helped his wife steal his stash whilst he was in prison? 

So yes the story had a lot of problems, yet the acting was of a good standard (I also loved playing spot the actor too as there were a lot of out of the norm roles for well-known ones) and it was quirky in a good way.  Daniel Craig was a stand out and he and Channing were not immediately recognisable, which is a great achievement for such well-known actors.  The farcical parts are where the movie lifts itself.

Towards the end of the film, when Hilary Swank's FBI Agent Grayson starts to investigate the heist, I felt it was a great way of setting it up for a possible sequel.  I hope that this comes to pass.

Sebastian Stan in Logan Lucky (2017)
Trivia:  The film was distributed by cutting out studios, in order to have creative control and make money directly from the film itself. Accordingly, for this atypical distribution, Steven Soderbergh raised the budget by selling off foreign distribution rights, and then sold everything except the movie showing up in a movie theater in order to pay for advertising and prints of the movie (for example, selling post-theatrical rights to the likes of HBO, Netflix, Video-On-Demand, television, and airplanes). By following these two steps, Soderbergh was able to sidestep a Hollywood studio, and had creative control the entire time (for instance, the trailers that dropped earlier this summer were by his design, as was the poster and the entire marketing plan). Also, according to Soderbergh, under this set-up, the box-office bar for success is lower. With nearly everything prepaid, and no hefty distributor fees coming off the top, even a modest fifteen million dollar opening would be a win. 

Several NASCAR drivers have cameos in Logan Lucky. Ryan Blaney as the Cake Delivery Boy and Kyle Larson as the Limo Driver. Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch as West Virginia State Troopers. Brad Keselowski and Joey Lagano as the Security Guards. As well as Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip. 

The state trooper who pulled over the elderly lady is recently retired NASCAR driver Carl Edwards.

Tagline: See how the other half steals.                                                       7/10

Channing Tatum in Logan Lucky (2017)

#LoganLucky #StevenSoderbergh #ChanningTatum #HilarySwank #AdamDriver #KatieHolmes #DanielCraig

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