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Review: The plot is an elaborate heist, but Logan Lucky is sloppy and lackadaisical

PUBLISHED: 09:52 31 August 2017

Daniel Craig stars as Joe Bang and Dwight Yoakam as Warden Burns in Lucky Logan. Photo: StudioCanal/Claudette Barius

Daniel Craig stars as Joe Bang and Dwight Yoakam as Warden Burns in Lucky Logan. Photo: StudioCanal/Claudette Barius

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Steven Soderbergh’s return to directing is a hillbilly Ocean’s Eleven which swaps smoothy George Clooney for two down on their luck West Virginian rednecks.

Adam Driver as Clyde Logan and Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan in Lucky Logan. Photo: StudioCanal/Claudette BariusAdam Driver as Clyde Logan and Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan in Lucky Logan. Photo: StudioCanal/Claudette Barius

Logan Lucky (12A)

***

Steven Soderbergh’s return to film directing after a four year ‘retirement’ is a hillbilly Ocean’s Eleven which swaps smoothy George Clooney for two down on their luck West Virginian brothers, played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, and the Las Vegas casino for the Charlotte Speedway race track during the running of the Coca Cola 600.

It is a perverse and frustrating exercise in miss matching content and form. The plot is an elaborate heist involving meticulous planning and clockwork co-ordination. Its delivery is sloppy and lackadaisical, with a script that can always make time for unnecessary digressions or indulgent star cameos.

Which is a shame as there are enough funny moments and engaging performances for an enjoyable 90 minute film but this thing just drags along and makes two hours seem like a long time.

The longer it goes on the more you you resent the idea that a failed high school quarterback and labourer would not only be able to, in a matter of weeks, come up with such ridiculously convoluted scheme, but could then persuade a group consisting of bartenders and yokel wasters to execute. This is not snobbery: Clooney and co may have been high class rollers but they were also all experienced professionals; here, other than a safe cracker (played by Daniel Craig) this is everybody’s first bash at major league criminality.

I’m all for the game amateur doing well, but this takes it so hard you suspect that the constant pushing at the situation credibility is deliberate.

Riley Keough as Mellie Logan in Lucky Logan. Photo: StudioCanal/Claudette BariusRiley Keough as Mellie Logan in Lucky Logan. Photo: StudioCanal/Claudette Barius

Audiences might be more receptive to the idea if most of the film’s humour wasn’t laughing and pointing at the stupid rednecks. There’s even a Father Ted-like scene of a toilet seat throwing contest at the county fair. At this exact point in history, condescending mockery of stupid white people from the midwest may seem like fair game, but don’t then cast them as master criminals.

The irony here is that during his time away from the big screen, Soderbergh spent some of the time re-editing other people’s films, including 2001 and Heaven’s Gate, to make them shorter and sharper. He should practise what he snips.

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