Logan Lucky

The masterminds.

Steven Soderbergh tried to retire a few years ago, but it didn’t take. Perhaps he can relate to Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), the lovable West Virginian ne’er-do-well at the center of “Logan Lucky” who tries to make an honest living but keeps coming back to the bullet-pointed plan for robbing a bank that’s posted on his kitchen wall.

“Logan Lucky” is a heist comedy like Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s” trilogy, with the Coen Brothers-ish condescension of his “The Informant!” and the shaggy, unhurried pace of his “Magic Mike.” Written by first-timer Rebecca Blunt, the film is as sunny and implausible as an old-timer’s anecdote, with a few hints at topicality (coal miners, economic anxiety, “Game of Thrones”) that don’t detract from its insouciance. It’s fun for fun’s sake. The conscience only nags a little bit.

Jimmy, a former high school football hero who’s now paunchy and bad-kneed, is an out-of-work coal miner whose most recent job was on a project shoring up the tunnels under the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, a hundred miles or so from the West Virginia county where Jimmy and a lot of other drawling rednecks live. His brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), missing half an arm from a tour in Iraq, is a bartender who believes the Logan family is cursed, citing as examples his arm, “Pawpaw’s diamond, Uncle Stickly’s electrocution,” and so forth. Their sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), works in a beauty parlor, but her real skills are behind the wheel.

Jimmy is close to his daughter, Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie), about 10 and currently into beauty pageants, though she’s also a good assistant when Jimmy’s working on his truck. Sadie’s mom, Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes), exasperated from years of dealing with Jimmy’s unreliability, has a new husband, Moody Chapman (David Denman), who owns a Ford dealership but can’t drive a stick. This is a culture where that sort of thing matters, masculinity-wise.

Family curse notwithstanding, Jimmy enlists his siblings to help with a plan to steal the cash out of the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s vault on a busy event day. For us, the plan is made all the more delicious by the fact that one of its key participants will need to be broken out of jail so he can help, then secreted back before he’s missed. That’d be Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a bleach-blond explosives expert whose drawl is the drawliest of them all. Joe’s idiot brothers, Sam (Brian Gleeson) and Fish (Jack Quaid), are, at his insistence, also involved, but they’re such screw-ups that even a screw-up like Jimmy Logan finds them frustrating.

[Continue reading at Crooked Marquee.]


B+ (1 hr., 59 min.; PG-13, a little profanity and crude language, mild innuendo, comic violence.)