The Logan siblings Jimmy (Channing Tatum,) Mellie (Riley Keough) and Clyde (Adam Driver) rob a NASCAR race in Logan Lucky. (Entertainment One image)

Reel Reviews: Goin’ for a rip

I say, “Logan Lucky becomes a little self-indulgent, but is reasonably entertaining.”

After being let go by the construction company he works for, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) decides to plan a heist of a NASCAR race in North Carolina. Enlisting the help of his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and sister Mellie (Riley Keough), they create a plan to not only rob the race, but temporarily break out of jail the only man who can blow the vault, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig.) Notoriously believing themselves cursed, they hope just this once they can catch a break, pull off this heist and become Logan Lucky.

I say, “Logan Lucky becomes a little self-indulgent, but is reasonably entertaining.”

Howe is camping with his family this week, so I shall review Logan Lucky by myself. I like many of Steven Soderbergh’s movies, my favourites are The Limey and The Informant! Most people relate Soderbergh to the Oceans 11 series of films, and they were fine. At any rate, I was excited to hear the Soderbergh came out of his “retirement” since directing Magic Mike. I think he should keep making movies, he has an interesting eye and likes fun, quirky stories.

Jimmy just wants to be able to take care of his young daughter, pay the trailer park pad rent, but when this opportunity presented itself for this heist, he couldn’t resist. His reluctant brother Clyde burned in the past by Jimmy’s harebrained schemes, agrees to come along only because he has faith in his big brother. Joe Bang — Craig at his least Bond-like — of course wants the money, but he doesn’t believe the unlucky Logan brothers can do it. He agrees to help more for his own amusement than anything else.

There are a number of complicated steps to planning such a heist and Logan Lucky also keeps some cards under the table, so that the audience can share in the surprises that the Logan’s uncover along the way. The film sometimes pulls the patriotic card, sometimes pulls the class card, and sometimes pulls the race card. It’s almost as if Soderbergh wants us to laugh at these hapless hillbillies, robbing racetracks to pay the beauty pageant entry fees for a little girl, but also wants us to realize they are people too, making do and getting by.

The film is fun, funny, and if you don’t think about it too much, completely believable. It feels like one of those “too crazy to be true,” true stories, but it’s not.

Taylor gives Logan Lucky 2.5 laps out of 5.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday.