When Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) loses his job he convinces his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) to join him in an audacious plot to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina with the help of their snarky sister Mellie (Riley Keough), incarcerated demolition expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his two “computer expert” brothers, Fish and Sam (Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson).
After a brief self-imposed retirement, director Steven Soderbergh returns to the big screen with this red neck cousin to his Ocean’s Trilogy of heist flicks. Clearly relishing the opportunity to prove to us that not all elaborately planned heists need to be planned and executed by slick talking charmers, this colourful bunch of would-be criminals couldn’t be further from Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan. Jimmy, a former high school football captain who saw his career prospects dashed by a knee injury sustained in a car accident, is desperate for funds when he learns his young daughter (Farrah Mackenzie) will be moving out of town with her mother (Katie Holmes). His slow-talking but smart younger brother Clyde is a bar tender and after losing an arm in Iraq is convinced the Logan family are victims of a curse, something their car loving, no nonsense sister Mellie thinks is hogwash.
In terms of a tricksy heist, Logan Lucky has it all. A jail break - one which provides the most satisfying gag of the film revolving around Game of Thrones - and a risky, elaborate plan to break into the underground vault complete with a spaghetti junction tube system that funnels the vast sums of cash taken at concession stands during the massive Coca Cola 600 NASCAR race. Translation: that’s a whole lotta moolah which requires a fiendishly clever plan and that’s just what Soderbergh and writer Rebecca Blunt (making an impressive debut) have delivered.
Tatum and Driver possess bags of screen presence and chemistry as the down on their luck brothers and are ably supported by a talon-nailed, bouncy haired Keough who is fast proving herself to be a diverse and dynamic performer. Seth MacFarlane manages to win the worst cockney accent of all time award out doing Dick van Dyke and Don Cheadle and Sebastian Stan is frankly criminally underused as a famous racing driver whilst Hilary Swank is a rather pointless FBI agent shoe horned in at the end. But shamelessly hijacking every scene he graces is Craig as the slightly manic, boiled egg loving Bang. His gleeful performance is a joy to behold and reminds us of just how chameleon like and actor he can be.
Whilst there’s a sense of nothing particularly new here, Logan Lucky is an energetic crime caper kept afloat by a uniformly excellent cast and a bravura performance by Daniel Craig and well worth a trip to the local multiplex.