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Logan Lucky Review

20 Aug

Nothing in this film is particularly remarkable or memorable in any way. It isn’t really meant to be. It’s a breezy affair from an experienced filmmaker, a fun heist film with relatively minimal conflict and broadly sketched stakes. That’s not to say the stakes aren’t there; they just don’t feel all too prominent. Soderbergh doesn’t quite give us enough to really flesh out his characters, but he manages to imbue them with just enough humanity to help them transcend caricature status. This results in some unexpectedly poignant scenes, mostly involving the relationship between Tatum’s character and his daughter. It additionally absolutely helps that the cast is great all around, with the standouts being Daniel Craig’s zany safecracker and Riley Keough’s stylishly steely hairdresser (seriously, when has this woman not been great? She is on a rise to stardom and I am lucky to witness it). This is also quite a funny film, and Soderbergh does a nice job with camera positioning and misdirection in order to mine visual humor from his scenes.

Most people will (understandably) criticize the final act, which meanders a fair amount and has the mark of an improv group trying desperately to find a killer closing line but struggling to do so. However, though the superfluous nature of it all seems like a complete negative to most, there’s something in there that I personally love. I view it as a fitting coda in a way, simultaneously an ultimate expression of humanity’s self interest and a sly acknowledgement of the very nature of a heist film. In heist films, the various moving pieces all come together in a way that seems too good to be true, and you realize that the people conducting said heist have figured it all out in their own ingenious ways. Logan Lucky doubles down on that in its final act, but also briefly pokes its head into the motivations of seemingly superfluous characters in order to explain why it all just works out. Does it need to do this? Not really. Is there something interesting about anticlimax, about the futility of tying up loose ends when you’re working within these genre conventions? Hey, maybe.

GRADE: B+

Tip for next time: Don’t underuse Katherine Waterston.

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