'Logan Lucky'

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“Logan Lucky” is Steven Soderbergh’s first film out of his so-called retirement, which always seemed like an extension of Soderbergh performance art.  In the meantime,  he’s been concentrating on television, most notably his excellent FX show “The Knick,” Now that it’s been, frustratingly, cancelled, Soderbergh is back and ready to add more to an impressive filmography which includes “Traffic,” “The Limey,” “Out of Sight,” Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “Erin Brockvich,” and “Ocean’s Eleven.” 

“Logan Lucky” is a highly entertaining heist movie, set in the NASCAR world, starring Daniel Craig, Adam Driver and Channing Tatum. This is Ocean's 7/11, set in the world of Nascar, but, instead of Danny Ocean's slick Hollywood types, we have The Logans, a family living on the hills of West Virginia known for its bad luck which has spanned nearly 90 years. Tatum plays Jimmy Logan whom, after being fired from his job for an uninsured limp, decides its time to turn the family's luck around by employing Redneck Robbers, as he plans to steal $14 million from the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

I love how Soderbergh refuses to make fun of these yokels, which adds humanity to their eccentric southernly-charmed traits. They are likable and humane characters that happen to be uneducated, but do have the street smarts to go through life in smart and measured ways.  The usual narrative tropes are used for Jimmy to gather up his crew, but it's still a kick to watch it happen, ditto the heist iself, which is expertly crafted stuff. there may be one too many cons in the finale, but "Logan Lucky" is thoroughly entertaining stuff. Even as you watch it combust onscreen the giddy joy remains. Welcome back, Steven.