Review for Logan Lucky
Blind buying films is easy when they’re on a pound store shelf. It doesn’t take much to risk watching something you might loathe, and it doesn’t hurt when you wind up throwing it in the recycling. But I still find myself hemming and hawing in these stores, eschewing all of the horror as a matter of course, and all of the cockney crime thrillers that seem to populate those shelves. Ray Winstone has to have something to do. I look at all those spines, peering at the titles, and try to remember if something positive was said about any particular film by someone whose opinion I respect. That’s what happened with Logan Lucky, a film that I had heard of, but only insofar as much that it was pretty good. I knew nothing else about it at all, and had I not known even that much, I would have shunned it following one look at the rather cheesy cover.
Jimmy Logan could have been a football star, but that career never had a chance following a knee injury. His brother Clyde lost his hand to an IED in Iraq, and Clyde subscribes to the idea of the Logan curse, that their family has been prone to bad luck for generations. There may be something to that idea, as Jimmy gets fired from his construction job beneath the local Speedway circuit, and then learns that his ex-wife is moving with their daughter Sadie, along with her new husband to another state. Jimmy needs the security of a job, or a heap of money to stay in his daughter’s life.
Then he has a cauliflower moment, the idea to rob the Speedway of its takings. The opportunity arises because of the job that he just got fired from, working underneath the track to shore up the circuit has revealed how money moves from the tills to the vault, and as long as the construction work continues, that vault is vulnerable. They do need an explosives expert though, and Joe Bang would be the ideal man; the only problem is that he’s in prison. Even if they could break him out, he insists on bringing his brothers in on the job, and they’re not the sharpest tools...
Logan Lucky gets a 2.39:1 widescreen 1080p transfer with the choice between DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround, and PCM 2.0 Stereo English. There is also a PCM 2.0 Stereo English Audio Descriptive track, with the option of HOH subtitles. The image is great, with excellent detail and with strong colours. There’s no problem with compression or the like, and the colour grading isn’t too obvious. It looks fine for a comedy action movie. The audio too is fine, nice and immersive, making the most of the on screen action while keeping the dialogue clear. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a modern film in HD.
You get one disc in a BD Amaray case. The Studiocanal disc autoplays trailers for The Commuter and Free Fire before booting to an animated menu.
The sole extra feature on this disc comprises the two Deleted Scenes, which run to a total of 3:58.
That was a delightfully unexpected surprise. Logan Lucky turned out to be wholly entertaining, and very much a feel-good movie. I don’t know what I was expecting given the look of the BD cover, but it was enough to make me reluctant to watch it once it was residing in my unwatched movie pile. If I’d noted that Steven Soderbergh had directed this, I might have been more sanguine. It transpires that Logan Lucky is a heist movie, and given that Soderbergh has to date given us three Ocean’s movies, he should know this genre backwards by now. But in the end, Logan Lucky turns out to be the anti-Ocean’s Eleven, an antidote to its Vegas glitz, Hollywood glamour and slick scripting. The scheming arch-criminals in Logan Lucky are anything but arch-criminals. Instead, they are the epitome of the US blue-collar class.
Logan Lucky doesn’t concern itself with the mechanics of the heist or the intricacies of the plan as much as the Ocean’s movies, but instead concentrates more on character development. This is all to the good, as the characters are rich and vivid in the story, which turns out to be an object lesson in the concept that people who are simple, can be smart as well. Certainly the protagonists in the film are far from cultural sophisticates or style aesthetes. They are more the salt of the earth, hard-working folk who have to deal with the monkey-wrenches and cowpats that life throws in their paths.
Jimmy Logan is a loving father, who can’t hold down a job because of a persistent knee injury, and whose ex-wife is about to leave with her new husband for pastures new, taking their daughter with her. Clyde Logan is his dour, superstitious brother who puts all this, and the fact that he lost his hand in Iraq down to a family curse. So when Jimmy comes up with his heist plan, exclaiming “Cauliflower” like some vegetarian Archimedes, it doesn’t seem to hold much promise. But after some convincing the brothers press on with the idea, beginning with recruiting the immaculately presented, and extremely blond Joe Bang as the explosives expert, a delightful turn from Daniel Craig, although they have to break him out of prison (and break him back in afterwards). And as immaculate as Joe Bang is, his two brothers are quite the reverse, and seemingly a pair of liabilities. These five reprobates, along with sister Mellie Logan have to enact an intricate and time sensitive plan to rob the Speedway, dealing with whatever surprises occur along the way.
Given that this piece of larceny is motivated more by a father’s need to stay connected with his daughter than it is by anything as base as greed or revenge, the stakes feel far smaller and personal, which makes the film’s focus on developing its characters, exploring the way they relate to each other a more appropriate direction. It also makes the film a far more satisfying watch, far more entertaining to see the characters deal with the various twists and setbacks as they come. And when it comes down to it, the actual crime is all about wit, and intelligence. Violence is enacted on just one character, and when it comes down to it, he deserves it, for an accent almost as egregious as Don Cheadle’s in the Ocean’s movies. I think dodgy English accents are Soderbergh’s milieu.
If you’re in the mood for a feel-good heist movie, then be sure and seek out Logan Lucky. It gets a great presentation on this Blu-ray, even if extras are lacking on this disc, as the film won’t disappoint.