Logan Lucky is a likable-enough redneck heist movie set behind the scenes at a NASCAR championship event. At two hours it’s longer than it ought to be and takes too much time recapping how the central caper was executed at the end of the picture. Director Steven Soderbergh and first-time screenwriter Rebecca Blunt set things up for us to cheer at the finish line but the movie never rouses that kind of enthusiasm.
Logan Lucky’s ace in the hole is the casting of Daniel Craig as a sly, tow-headed Southern convict named Joe Bang, who’s spirited out of prison in order to help Channing Tatum and his crew pull off a daring racetrack robbery. Craig seems to be having fun in this lively supporting role and he is definitely fun to watch.
Craig is surrounded by a first-rate ensemble, from Adam Driver as Tatum’s bartending brother (a solid, well-drawn character) to Seth MacFarlane, as a loud-mouthed British race-car driver who seems to have escaped from an old Mike Myers movie. Riley Keough, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam, Brian Gleeson, Sebastian Stan, Jack Quaid, Katie Holmes, and Hilary Swank flesh out the cast. Ten-year-old Farrah Mackenzie plays Tatum’s daughter, who’s already a veteran of pint-sized beauty (and talent) pageants.
Soderbergh is savvy enough to know how to put these ingredients together. Perhaps if he’d taken one more look at the finished product and pruned it—which he’s famous for doing for fellow directors—he would have had a better, punchier movie. As it stands, Logan Lucky is pleasant but utterly forgettable.