I generally don’t like films featuring either Daniel Craig or Adam Driver, but I primarily know Craig from those awful James Bond movies and Adam Driver from things in which he teams up with the agonizingly unbearable Alex Karpovsky. Even though both Craig and Driver are prominently featured in Logan Lucky, I decided to give the film a chance because it’s not a Bond movie, there’s no Alex Karpovsky, and it’s a heist movie directed by Ocean’s Eleven (and Twelve and Thirteen) director Steven Soderbergh.
The film features Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan, a former football player with a bum knee, which also just lost him his construction job that he desperately needs to keep his ex-wife (Katie Holmes) from taking their daughter (Farrah Mackenzie) to another state. In desperation, Jimmy turns to his brother Clyde (Adam Driver), a veteran amputee turned bartender, with a plot to rob a NASCAR racetrack. It would normally be an impossible job, but Jimmy’s former construction job at that track gave him inside information that some of the security measures have been temporarily disabled, and that the pneumatic tubes used to carry cash from all the vendor stations to the vault are much more exposed than they normally would be. They’ll need to enlist the help of currently incarcerated explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a couple of Joe’s redneck relatives (Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson) who have recently experienced a religious awakening, and Jimmy and Clyde’s hairdresser/car expert sister Mellie (Riley Keough).
Logan Lucky isn’t as good as Ocean’s Eleven, but it’s also not as bad as Ocean’s Twelve. As a heist movie, it’s definitely got some fun moments and an interesting plan. Channing Tatum’s character is fairly well developed, Daniel Craig’s is actually pretty fun, and Adam Driver’s is tolerable. On the other hand, the southern accents aren’t that great and quickly become annoying, and Seth MacFarlane (as a billionaire racing team owner) is at least as terrible in this movie as he is in everything else he’s done since the first couple of seasons of The Family Guy. But fortunately, the accents aren’t so annoying as to completely ruin the film, and MacFarlane’s screen time is mercifully short.
But the biggest problem with Logan Lucky is that it’s just not that exciting, especially in the ways that a heist movie should be exciting. It’s not really boring, but it doesn’t have any tension. All of the impossible things they have to pull off come way too easily, and even when they do get backed into a corner, you don’t really feel like they’re in any imminent danger. And on top of that, there are reveals later in the film that even further detract from any anxiety that might have been. I did still come away liking Logan Lucky, but it could have been so much better, and Soderbergh has to take the blame for that.