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The Phoenix

Steven Soderbergh returns with Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky, released on August 18th, is a 2017 American heist-comedy directed by Steven Soderbergh. Soderbergh, who is best known for his directing work on the Ocean’s 11  trilogy, makes a return after numerous announcements that he’d retired from filmmaking. The story was written by Rebecca Blunt, a pen name for the real writer who remains unknown. As Blunt’s first credited work, it’s quite incredible. The story follows two brothers who are trying to break a family curse and decide to pull a heist on NASCAR during a race. Soderbergh’s direction and expertise, the cast’s performances, and the creative storyline create a great heist film with a lot of heart and depth.

The acting is strong and each character has their own unique moment in the spotlight. The movie stars Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan, a construction worker who is the leader of the heist. Tatum has already proved his comedic talent in 21 and 22 Jump Street and he really brings it in this movie.

Adam Driver (The Force Awakens, Paterson) plays Clyde Logan. He is a war vet and a one-armed bartender. His diverse, quiet mannerisms and slow delivery were very amusing. Both men play off each other and the rest of the cast phenomenally with their witty lines and hilarious southern accents.

The standout performance is from Daniel Craig (Skyfall, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Craig plays Joe Bang, a convict that the brothers enlist to help complete the heist. His specialty is making bombs, or as he likes to call them, “Joe Bangs.” Craig gets many opportunities to deliver his own jokes and the balance between characters is perfect. Joe Bang also brings his brothers along, Fish and Sam Bang. Fish was played by Jack Quaid (The Hunger Games) and Sam was played by Brian Gleeson (Snow White and the Huntsman). These two were gold, bringing the most laughs to the movie.

The biggest surprise was Farrah Mackenzie, who plays Jimmy’s younger daughter. Often, child actors are not very good in movies, but she held her own with Channing Tatum and the rest of the cast. The weak link was Hilary Swank. An FBI agent investigating the robbery, she didn’t seem to click with the other actors. She was very serious and came off as funny in a bad way.

Soderbergh has been making heist comedies since 2001, and he demonstrates that he’s mastered his craft with Logan Lucky. The humor, cinematography, editing and sound all come together perfectly. Due credit should go to Blunt for the writing, but Soderbergh’s execution is flawless.

Logan Lucky is a great end to the summer movie season. The ensemble of actors, humor, heart and action make it worth checking out in theaters, rather than waiting for streaming or DVD.

Score 9/10

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