Friday, August 25, 2017

Logan Lucky review

Logan Lucky has gotten some good reviews. But I wonder if director Steven Soderbergh's reputation has anything to do with it. I mean was there a yearning from critics to see a Soderbergh film after an absence of four years? And if this movie fails, can we blame alleged screenwriter Rebecca Blunt? After all Hollywood Reporter has reported that she doesn't exist. Is there a motive here to blame her? Maybe the filmmakers thought it would bomb with the critics and they could say it's Blunt's fault. Then it becomes an implausible hit with the critics like Trump becoming president. How meta.

Logan Lucky is about two brothers. Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) has just lost his job digging under the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. His ex-wife is going to move to Tennessee and take his daughter with her. Yeah, he is down on his luck. So, he devises a plan to rob the Speedway with his brother, Clyde Logan played by Adam Driver. (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) Clyde has lost his right arm due to light saber duel with Rey. Oops. Sorry, that's Star Wars. He lost his arm from the Iraq War. They enlist a demolitions expert named Joe Bang. (Daniel Craig) Should I laugh here? Anyway, the problem is that he's in jail and won't get out for five months. Thre are three major women roles here but they're not given much to do. But I'll cite them here. Actresses Katie Holmes, Riley Keough and Katherine Waterston. I mean Waterston plays an old high school flame of Jimmy's but it's so badly underwritten that the filmmakers should have just cut it and saved the money to pay her. Back to the plot, the Logan brothers must figure out a way to break out Bang, do the robbery and sneak him back into jail.

Let's start with what this movie does right. Director Soderbergh shoots a pretty picture. Shots are well set up.   All of the performances are great. Special nod to Daniel Craig. He pretty much steals every scene he's in. That's about it for what is right.

Here's what's wrong with this movie. Logan Lucky is trying to be a "jack of all trades" but it's "master of none." The film tries to work in three genres. First, does it work as a hillbilly heist flick? No. To make a heist movie work, you must focus on whether the protagonist is going to get away with the robbery. This movie introduces a mystery in the third act. It then uses flashbacks to explain the mystery. Those flashbacks deal with the actual heist. They suck out all the tension of the robbery when they should have been added in the sequence of the actual heist. Yeah, I get it. The mystery is trying to be an original plot thread. Doens't work. I almost fell asleep during the flashbacks. They are also confusing. Additionally, the heist relies on some wild assumptions. During a prison riot, the film depends on the warden being so vain that he won't call for outside help. Really? Two, does this movie work as a comedy? No. I know humor is a subjective thing but the jokes aren't funny. And there's not enough of them to have some of them work. Third, does this film work as an indie drama about a Southerner trying to raise his daughter in modern times? Not really. The heist stuff blocks out most of Jimmy's struggles to maintain a relationship with his daughter. And I'm amazed that Rebecca Blunt who is a woman wrote this movie. Her female characters are badly written. As I said above, there's not much for them to do here. From a feminist point of view, you would think she would make this movie about two sisters. I mean there needs to be more movies starring women. This leads me to think that maybe Ms. Blunt doesn't exist.

Logan Lucky is a dull and unfunny movie. Wait to rent this one. Then go over it to find the plot holes for fun. The grade is C plus.

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