This fun yet formulaic heist film might not break the mould but that doesn’t mean isn’t enjoyable.
The Logan Brother’s (Channing Tatum’s ‘Jim’ and Adam Driver’s ‘Clyde’) aren’t exactly the sharpest tools in the draw but somehow, and you’ll probably have to suspend disbelief a bit to buy into it, they manage to plan a huge, complex and clever heist at the biggest Nascar race of the year.
I’ve seen people compare this to the recent film ‘Baby Driver’. ‘Baby Driver’ it ain’t but most things aren’t. It offers lots of laughs, several colourful characters and even a couple of twists and turns. It has a very Coen Brothers feel to it without going too far into absurd black comedy, although maybe it would have benefited from being a tad more risky with it’s humour, even if this would have pushed it from a 12A to a 15 rating.
The characters, and the quality performances from the actors behind them, are what make this film a pleasure to watch. They’re vivid and vibrant and watching them interact brings plenty of enjoyment. Some of their motivations for taking part in the robbery are a bit wishy-washy; sometimes on purpose for comic effect, but for our main characters it’s a shame that the pieces don’t always fall fully into place. It’s a bit of a stretch to really see why Jim and Clyde want to risk everything for this job. That said, the set up is there. Jim’s ex-wife is about to move states with her new family and take Jim’s daughter with her. He needs money for a lawyer to fight this. Even though this is clear, it’s a shame this wasn’t explored more. Jim and his ex, Bobbie (Katie Holmes) don’t seem to have a hostile relationship and she openly says he will still have his allotted days with his daughter. So for him to jump straight to a lawyer, and pulling off a complex and difficult heist to pay for one, is a bit of a stretch. As for Clyde, he’s a one-handed Iraq veteran, who just goes along with what his brother asks. It would have been nice to have a little more here, before the heist kicks off, to really up the stakes for the characters. However, this probably isn’t what the film is about. It’s not trying to be a deep character driven drama and hold up a mirror to the struggles of Father’s fighting for custody. Logan Lucky is out for a good time.
The film does take it’s time to set relationships and motives up, the latter needing a little more work even though a lot of time was put into it, but it’s when the heist, and the team, come together that this film becomes really enjoyable. Quickly paced, funny and not afraid to not take things too serious, Logan Lucky steers us through a variety entertaining back and forths. The only character that falls heavily short of fun, and lands deeply in highly irritating, is Seth MacFarlane’s ‘Max Chilblain’. Whereas some of the others are quite caricatured, they don’t become caricatures, they move beyond the stereotype, serve a purpose and are well acted. MacFarlane doesn’t do any of this. Thankfully he only appears every now and again and you can forget about him for large portions of the film. Plus, Daniel Craig more than makes up for that slight character blip.
Logan Lucky succeeds with what it sets out to do, it doesn’t give you enough time to be bored and even if it doesn’t offer anything new it’s far from stale. Sometimes a fun film is exactly what you need.
A fast paced heist with entertaining characters and fun dynamics, Logan Lucky is definitely worth a watch if you just want to relax and just have an enjoyable couple of hours.