I saw Steven Soderbergh‘s Logan Lucky (Bleecker Street 8.18) this morning, and I came out fairly happy or soothed or whatever. I wasn’t exactly dazzled or blown away but I don’t think was the intention. It’s a mild, easygoing entertainment. Yes, it’s Ocean’s Eleven in a rural, lower-middle-class realm, except the principal thieves (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig) are unassumingly brilliant in both the planning and execution of a big heist, or the removing of millions from Charlotte Motor Speedway.
So far most critics are delighted with Logan Lucky. It has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating as we speak, and an 81% rating from Metacritic. But what about Joe and Jane Popcorn, not to mention rural shitkicker types?
Soderbergh is such a master, such an exacting orchestrator. This has been said repeatedly about many films, but Logan Lucky has really and truly been assembled like a fine Swiss watch. I really love hanging in Soderberghland. I relish his dry sense of humor, his laid-back naturalism and low-key way of shooting stuff, plus his cool framings and cutting style, etc. A total pro.
I’m too stupid to understand all the logistical and strategic maneuvers, double-backs and fake-outs. To this day I don’t entirely understand every last thing about how the heist was pulled off in Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11, and I don’t care enough to see it again anyway. I’m just not very smart when it comes to this stuff.
Part of the problem today was that I was unable to hear about 35% or 40% of the dialogue because of the horrible sound system in the Wilshire Screening Room.
But I loved so much about Logan Lucky. I really did. It’s such a nicely assembled alternate-reality caper piece. It’s a light cultural fantasy thing, and is quite funny here and there. Very droll and low-key and plain spoken. But I mainly love it because it’s so well made. All hail cinematographer Peter Andrews!
And yeah, I loved the surprise appearance of Hillary Swank, but I’m too dumb to…forget it.
Of course, Logan Lucky is set in a version of Bumblefuckland that’s not quite real. Because the characters aren’t real Bumblefucks but Hollywood hybrids pretending to be the Real McCoy. Skilled, clever, laid-back smoothies performing with yokel accents and wearing the clothing and all the rest of it in a casual, pocket-drop way, and at the same time handling their complex robbery scheme in a much smarter way than you might expect garden-variety Bumblefucks to do, or anyone for that matter who isn’t an Einstein-level genius at pulling off robberies.
George Clooney‘s Danny Ocean would be seriously impressed by these guys.