Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh, has come out of a false semi-retirement (talk about fake news) to direct the NASCAR heist movie, Logan Lucky. Channing Tatum plays a recently fired blue collar West Virginian divorced Dad (Jimmy Logan) down on his luck who needs a break. His one armed brother Clyde Logan (played by Adam Driver) also could use a break as they ponder if there is a curse on their family because of previous bad luck and tragedies. When his ex-wife (Katie Holmes) threatens to take Jimmy’s adorable daughter Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie) across state lines so her blow hard, but successful car salesman husband (David Denman), can open a new dealership, Jimmy concocts a scheme to pull off the biggest robbery in race car history at the world famous Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Logan brothers enlist incarcerated Joe Bang ( a barely recognizable and hysterical Daniel Craig), who then in turn enlists his redneck, tattooed scraggly criminal brothers Fish Bang and Sam Bang (great character turns by Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson). The Bang brothers at first refuse to participate because they have recently found God, but are quickly convinced to jump on the heist band wagon. They are joined by the Logan brothers’ sister, cosmetologist Mellie Logan (a charming Riley Keough).
Soderbergh’s authenticity for location, arena and character are all in top form, as well as his breezy, effortless way with actors. There are clever elements to the plot and the seemingly impossible heist, but the film takes a while to get moving and the actual heist itself lacks urgency. Furthermore the humor is subtle and is never laugh out loud funny, except a great use of the word “dramastically.” The entire outing is flavorful and has a great rebellious “stick it to the man attitude.” The criminals are all likeable and you want them to get the money and there is a refreshing lack of violence. However it feels a bit long and the whole experience isn’t exactly memorable. Entertaining, diverting and well done, how much you like Logan Lucky may depend on how much you like heist movies and the stars, who are all very good. However I suspect a week after you see it, you might be thinking, “what was that movie about, again?”