“Logan Lucky” (2017) starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, & Daniel Craig

See how the other half steals. -A tag line for the movie

When Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is fired from his mining job, he convinces his younger sibs- brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and sister Mellie (Riley Keough, Elvis’ granddaughter)- to help him rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway during a NASCAR event. They will need the help of Joe Bang (Daniel Craig w/ bleached blonde hair), a convicted safe-cracker who’s currently incarcerated. They have to break Joe out, blow the racetrack vault, get away w/ the cash, return Joe to prison, and get Jimmy to his daughter Sadie’s (Farrah Mackenzie) beauty pageant on time. What could go wrong!? Well, there is the Logan family curse… 

Joe: You Logans must be as simple-minded as people say.

Clyde & Jimmy: People say that?

This movie is Tatum’s 4th collab w/ director Steven Soderbergh; they worked on Haywire (2011), Magic Mike (2012), and Side Effects (2013). Keough also appeared on Magic Mike; Soderbergh directed her in S1 of the STARZ TV series The Girlfriend Experience (I saw S1). One interviewee on the news refers to the heist as “Ocean’s Seven-Eleven” re: the Ocean’s film franchise (3 of these movies were directed by Soderbergh). Several NASCAR drivers have cameos, incl. Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip (who I recognized). Moody Chapman (David Denman- a tall/burly character actor) is the 2nd hubby of Bobby Jo (Katie Holmes); he has a V different look from his recent role as Kate Winslet’s ex-hubby on Mare of Eastown (HBO).

Jimmy: We need, like, a computer wiz, like one of them Facebook boys.

Fish: I know everything there is to know about computers, okay?

Jimmy: Do you?

Fish: All the Twitters, I know ’em.

Clyde’s arm was blown off during his deployment in Iraq. Driver was supposed to deploy to Iraq, but he broke his sternum in a biking accident, so was medically discharged from the Marines. I learned that the silver/horseshoe-shaped ring worn by Cyde was the same ring worn by Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) in the TV series Justified (2010). Fish Bang (Sam Quaid) is now nearly 30; he’s the son of actors Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. One of my younger friends said to check him out on The Boys (Amazon Prime), esp. IF you enjoy a twist on the superhero/sci-fi genre. Do some of y’all feel old yet!? Domhnall Gleeson says he was jealous of younger bro Brian (who plays Sam Bang) as he got to “hang out” w/ Driver. Domhnall played Gen. Hux in the recent Star Wars sequels w/ Driver. Brian’s face is similar to their father, Brendan, a veteran character actor. Warden Burns (Dwight Yoakam- country singer/actor) provides humor (esp. for the GoT fans). Remember when Yoakam and Sharon Stone were a couple? Hilary Swank has a role here also, BUT she doesn’t come in until later in the movie.

Warden Burns: As warden, I can approve buying a copy of A Dance With Dragons for the prison library to go up on the Game of Thrones shelf. Now, the only problem is that The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring have yet to be published, so those aren’t available. Well, I can’t do anything about what I can’t control.

Driver (super fit w/ his Star Wars body/longish hair) and Tatum (a BIT bigger than usual) have easy chemistry; Clyde often looks at Jimmy before he speaks/makes a decision. Before filming, Driver (whose father’s side comes from Arkansas) said he went to Tatum’s (who grew up in West Virginia) house at 4PM; they hung out until almost 4AM -wow! Like Jimmy, Tatum played football in his youth. In one scene, Clyde (a bartender) makes a martini for Max Chiblain (Seth MacFarlane) using one hand. Like many young actors, Driver worked as a waiter: “I wasn’t a very good waiter. I remember this one fancy restaurant- they pushed me toward the bar.” The Southern accents in the movie sounded (mostly) natural. The serious/relatable themes of economic uncertainty, fairness, family obligations, and patriotism run underneath the story. Several viewers/critics noted that they enjoyed the touching relationship between Jimmy and Sadie; he is trying to be a good dad by being an active participant in her life.

[1] The names and faces associated with this film give the feeling of it being a bigger event that it probably is. I was fortunate to approach it without knowing too much about it, so I took it as I found it. This is for the better because the film is quite a simple affair in what it does.

[2] Tatum is perhaps questionable, but reasonable as the lead, Driver is good, and Craig is likeable as he puts on an American accent and looks like he’s having fun. This caper has some amusing moments, with prison and NASCAR scenes that add to it a little as well, the script is made up of one-liners, and it gets your attention at the right moments, an alright crime comedy. Worth watching!

[3] I was pleasantly surprised that the movie doesn’t dwell on mocking Southern stereotypes, and the NASCAR elements are kept largely in the background. The performances are good, with Tatum and Driver making for believable blank-faced losers who are maybe a bit sharper than they let on. Craig gets the showiest part… […] better than expected, and an enjoyable time for those not expecting too much.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

3 thoughts on ““Logan Lucky” (2017) starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, & Daniel Craig

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