At first, I thought that the comparisons being made to this movie and Ocean’s Eleven were merely coincidental. Both heists movies. Both involve a lot of people. I mean there’s a scene in the film that uses the term “Ocean’s Seven-Eleven”, but it still didn’t get me to put two and two together. It wasn’t until I realized that the director of this film, Steven Soderbergh, was the same guy at the helm of all three Ocean’s movies.
Now that I know that, I can’t help but wonder if this movie was just some classless way of Soderbergh patting himself on the back. But then again, he didn’t do it in a way that was so cheap and obvious like when Luc Besson patted himself with Valerian.
Logan Lucky ended up being a good movie. It’s a film that’s very efficient in terms of acting, cinematography, tone, and overall story. It’s a shame though that, aside from a small handful of scenes, it never goes past efficient.
Everyone from Channing Tatum to Riley Keough to Adam Driver all do well within their roles, with Daniel Craig being my favorite performer. Unfortunately, there’s no character that is better than passable in any conceivable way. Many of their characters could accurately be described as playing themselves but with southern accents.
And it’s odd, because this movie does provide an ample amount of backstory, but none of it goes so far as to make memorable characters.
Likewise, the dialogue is passable and was often witty and fun, but it never gets to a point of being fantastic and/or hilarious. The movie definitely provided some decent chuckles, and it never made me role my eyes, but that’s about all I can say about it.
But what really holds this story down is that there is no true drive for any of our characters to do the things that they’re doing. Channing Tatum’s character is the leader of the robbery, and at first, the movie made it seem like he had a pretty significant reason to be stealing all of this money, but every scene in the entire story made it seem like Tatum would’ve been just fine in life without the money. There’s certainly no reason for Adam Driver or Riley Keough to be stealing this money, except for Tatum being their sibling. And Daniel Craig’s only real drive is that he likes robbing anyway.
By comparison, Soderbergh’s superior film Ocean’s Eleven gave Danny Ocean plenty of reasons to rob three casinos: Ocean was a cocky thief wanting to one-up himself and prove that he could do it. Most importantly, he wanted to get back the woman he loved by stomping on the face of the man she was currently with.
Channing Tatum’s character, however, doesn’t really have any sort of compelling drive to do the things he’s doing. Does he need the money? Sure, I guess. Does he want to provide a better life for him and his daughter? Sure, but the movie breaks apart that desire pretty quickly with the entirety of the plot (saying any more would spoil the movie).
And even if Danny Ocean wasn’t a hugely compelling character, the other people in the film complimented each other so well, and their personalities were so effortlessly dynamic that the movie would have been fine without Ocean’s strong character.
Tatum’s crew, on the other hand, are a handful of likable, but forgettable people.
With that said, this film has almost nothing bad about it aside from a few things you can pick apart about the heist itself.
The acting is good, the soundtrack was fitting, the heist was exciting enough, and the characters were fine and consistent. But this movie never breaks into the realm of exceptionalism, and I find myself forgetting about it the longer time goes by. I’d honestly recommend giving this film at least one viewing, but it would probably be best to wait until it’s out as a rental.