• 30 Sep - 06 Oct, 2017
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

There is always something predictable and delightful about heist movies. Predictable in the sense that you know that the story moves in a familiar, procedural pattern. However, it is delightful to see the work that goes into the mechanics of the planning. To see the use of skill sets of an unlikely crew without whom the ingenuity of the plan does not exist. With Logan Lucky, director Steven Soderbergh comes out of his big-screen retirement (he has been directing projects for TV). Logan is just what you want from Soderbergh; its setting is the same as Erin Brockovich – a small backwater town in North Carolina, where the land is beautiful, the water contaminated, and people live in hard times. They are simple but sharp in their own way, living day by day, trying to make better choices.

The Logan family has been hit hard in the past. The eldest Jimmy (Channing Tatum), had a bright future in football in high-school followed by an injury that put that idea to rest. Left with a limp, the condition even loses him his job in a local mining company. Jimmy’s younger brother, Clyde (Adam Driver) runs a bar. He is a war veteran with a prosthetic arm courtesy of his Iraqi war days. Their sister, Mellie (Riley Keough) is a hair dresser who knows as much about cars, as she knows about hair styles.

Jimmy is pushed to don his criminal thinking cap when his ex-wife (now married to a car dealer) and daughter plan to move to another state. So he turns to his brother and sets up a heist underneath the NASCAR racing circuit. To pull this off, they need to bring other people in the loop: they recruit Mellie as the driver, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), who is serving time in prison, as the bomb expert, as well as Bang’s two hillbilly brothers (Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid). The last two are born-again Christians, who have their own bizarre ways of finding justification for committing crimes (however weird and trivial these reasons may be).

Written by a debutant writer, Rebecca Blunt, the story on its own is not a surprise. The heart of the movie is the tone of the world these characters inhabit. The ambiance is so palpable that the setting feels like another character in the story (a pitfall is that a lot of dry and fast humour sometimes gets lost in the thick accents). The ensemble cast shine and sparkle, and Soderbergh – who has directed good ensemble heist movies like the Ocean series – finds himself with blessed with the same qualities. Each character here has tiny quirks that make them stand out individually. When a director knows what he or she is doing, their movies can never be a chore to watch. Most of the times, they offer satisfaction to the fullest. •