Logan Lucky is a heist film, and with any heist film, you follow the money. In this case the money was not in Las Vegas or New York City. The perpetrators were not slick professional face-men with high-tech mysterious plans to get the goods. In Logan Lucky we are introduced to Redneck Culture and NASCAR. In case you didn’t realize this, NASCAR is the nations biggest spectator sport. Now NASCAR is not as big dollar-wise as the NFL, for example, but still manages to pull in 3 Billion dollars a year with TV revenue of about 473 million per year.
Jimmy Logan was down on his luck. The glamor of his high school football stardom had faded away and he had just been laid off of his mining job of fixing sinkholes underneath the NASCAR Stadium. Desperate and broke, he began to formulate a plan to exploit his knowledge of what went on underneath the stadium, a labyrinth of pneumatic tubes that transported huge amounts of money from the NASCAR concessions.
The Logan family was cursed with bad luck and a lack of self-esteem. The family was rounded out by his sister, Mellie (Riley Keough) and Jimmy’s younger brother Clyde (Adam Driver) who brilliantly portrayed this defeatism and paranoia. He was also missing an arm, courtesy of a tour in Iraq. Remember this arm.
The rest of the crew were the Bang Brothers, headed by explosive and chemistry double replacement reactions equation expert Joe. Joe was joined by his dim-witted, but effective brothers Fish and Sam. I won’t spoil the plot or the outcome, but this planned heist of great NASCAR riches seemed to be the biggest mis-match since God tricked Adam and Eve in The Garden.
Logan Lucky hypnotizes you with its methodical pacing and hilarious Redneck characters. The backstories literally seep into the movie as we slowly realize that this heist is more than just a hare-brained scheme to score some money, a lot of money. Where the director Soderberg really shined is what he did not do with this movie. There was no gratuitous bloodshed or the prolonged, eardrum-shattering roaring of the NASCAR vehicles circling the track. The deadpan acting was so spot on for the culture, especially the performance by Daniel Craig, a bleach-blonde drawling Virginian who was cooling his heels in prison. This would soon change as he gets a brief and unscheduled furlough.
This movie was quite good and well worth watching. The pacing, acting and dialogue alone were the price of admission. There were very few things that I would consider annoying, not the least of which was the ongoing little girl’s (Jimmy’s daughter in custody of Jimmy’s ex.) prep for the talent pageant. Another thread in the movie that could have been cut out totally was the subplot involving Sebastian Stan (Seth McFarlane). It added nothing to the movie at all. There were also several false ends to the movie and the very late insertion of Hilary Swank as an F.B.I. agent in charge of investigating the heist…which turned out to be something else all together.
This movie was hilarious, but in a more subtle, subdued way. There is a line in the movie that characterizes it as “Oceans 7-11” playing off of the oddball and over the top Redneck characters. It was light-hearted and quite enjoyable in spite of the inevitable and predictable twists at the end of the movie. There were many great scenes, but I especially enjoyed the stand-off in the prison between the inmates, the warden and the guards. Dwight Yoakum was perfect as the arrogant warden who got played like a fiddle by the inmates.
Goat’s rating: 7.5/10.0
Quotes and one-liners:
- “How goes it?” (to Joe Bang) -Jimmy Logan
- “I’m wearing a Onesie, how do you think it’s going?” -Joe Bang
- “Is it twenty or thirty? ….We’re dealing with science here!” -Joe Bang
- “Would you give me my arm, please?” -Clyde Logan
- “I’m on my way to Church, I don’t have time for this” -Little Old Lady
- “Sugar, plus potassium chlorate…. -Joe Bang (explaining how to make a bomb with Gummy-Bears and Salt Substitute)
- “Charlotte Motor Speedway. I know how they move the money.” -Jimmy Logan
- “I know everything there is to know about computers, okay?” All the Twitters, I know them. -Hillbilly Cowboy