STEVEN SODERBERGH’S “RETURN” IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT, OFFERS SOME HUMUROUS LAUGHS AND SILLY FUN BUT IS ULTIMATELY A DISAPPOINTED AT ITS CORE.
I had forgotten all about Logan Lucy until the reviews dropped and it was getting such acclaim. I suspect some of it was due to critics nearly undying love for Soderbergh, but for the most part, I felt it was genuine. However walking away from the movie I was more baffled and confused than in awe of it.
Logan Lucky stars Channing Tatum and Adam Driver as Jimmy and Clyde Logan, two brothers born and raised in West Virgina, with their sister Mellie Logan (Riley Keough). Tired of living in a state of misfortune, and just recently let go from his job, Jimmy Logan convinces his siblings to assist him in robbing a bank that’s stocked full of cash. However, complications arrive when they trio have to recruit notorious explosive expert Joe Bang (Daniel Crag), who is currently incarcerated.
Logan Lucky is by design, a simple film until it isn’t and then it becomes a problem, but more on that later. For the most part, though, the movie moves a steady pace, never in a rush to get you as an audience member established and comfortable into this lovable yet quirky world that Soderbergh and screenwriter Rebecca Blunt, have crafted for your viewing pleasure.
The problem with that is, there’s nothing really to Logan Lucky, it’s just kinda there, for the most part. There’s no forward momentum or bounce to it, and yet the movie is constantly introducing new characters and conflicts for our main four characters to have to solve. Along with cutaways to other occupying scenes and subplots that all feel like they are meant to be a distraction for what, I think was supposed to be a great reveal to Soderbergh’s magic trick, but if one doesn’t understand the trick, is the surprise worth it?
For most of the movie, I was kinda shuffling along to get to the sporadic next bit of laugh that it offered me, but it isn’t funny, the movie isn’t fun at all. It’s like that standup comedian who is largely boring but occasionally will catch you off guard with something funny.
In addition to its slow pace, but busy occupancy, the movie seems like it’s was rushed in editing because scenes more often than not will just abruptly transition from one to next, either right before a punchline can land, or right after a statement is said, which made the viewing experience all the more awkward to sit through for those few drops of joy and relief.
Thankfully though this movie has a secret weapon, which is without a doubt both Craig and Keough who are at the top of their respective games in this film. They provide the engine for which keeps this train chugging along. Craig who you can tell is having the time of life not playing a character that’s wearing a tux and shoots bad guys. Is a wondrous riot and is the funniest thing in the movie, every gag that involves his character is bright, silly and is milked the right amount for maximum enjoyment. He is to this movie what Robert Downey Jr was to Tropic Thunder.
The most award for most interesting character, however, goes to Keough’s performance as Mellie Logan. Who unlike her counterparts, Tatum and Driver (Poor Driver relegated to playing this closed off emotionally characters), is giving something to work with outside of the cliche models for everyone else.
Keough brings this enigmatic approach to Mellie which miraculously works somehow given how frank and one dimensional most of the characters in the movie are. It’s because of her performance she shines through effortlessly and is missed dearly whenever she is not on screen, it also helps that she seems to be the only one who can hold a southern accent.
For all the hype this movie was getting and being touted as the big triumphant return of one of Hollywoods true greatly diverse directors, I came away thinking this was just a half-assed Coen Brothers rip off. It felt more like a coming out entry than a return to form, this is a movie made to be watched with your friends after a long night of partying.
It will bring you all backed down and is simple enough that it doesn’t require much energy to enjoy, until the exposition dump at the end which made me go,
“Wait, what just happened?!”