‘Logan Lucky’: A lumbering tale with slack comedy (IANS Review, Rating: **)

Film: “Logan Lucky”; Director: Steven Soderbergh; Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, Brian Gleeson, Jack Quaid, Hilary Swank, Daniel Craig and Jesse White; Rating: **

A goofy heist film, “Logan Lucky” is similar yet a far resemblance from director Steven Soderbergh’s repertoire of films. He has delivered an array of memorable films like “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Sex, Lies and Videotape”, “Erin Brockovich” and many more.

This one is a loose and lumbering tale of a ridiculously amusing gang of losers in West Virginia who hit the jackpot by robbing an auto raceway in North Carolina, of its few million dollar bills.

The plot centres on Jimmy Logan, a former football player and a devoted father who gets sacked from his construction job because his limp constitutes a potentially troublesome “pre-existing condition”.

His sibling, Clyde, who lost an arm in Iraq, works as a bartender and reminds him that he along with his family members are cursed with bad luck. To prove him wrong Jimmy, ropes him into his plans to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

So with the help of his siblings, including his sister Mellie (Riley Keough) — a hairdresser — and a few hardened criminals, Jimmy draws up a plan that involves sneaking people out of prison, blowing things up with gummy bears and secret allies within the establishment.

The plot, set in a quirky environment with offbeat elements, employs an off-kilter narrative that’s rife with bizarre digressions. These digressions are evident at the various plot-points, and they do not help the narrative much by way of momentum here. The absurd denouement is unsatisfactory and the film’s Waterloo.

But the persistently affable atmosphere along with the appealing performances including the comic timings of its cast, is what keeps you engaged.

Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan is charming. His performance is mostly reserved, but the few moments of real emotion are potent enough to give the film an emotional undercurrent.

Adam Driver as his younger brother Clyde, is equally charismatic. His reserved sincerity is perhaps intended as an underplayed contrast and his character is not stretched as a gloomy eccentric. In reality, it just means that he does not get to shine as brilliantly as his co-stars.

Daniel Craig with blonde hair is amusing in a jump-suit as the incarcerated safe cracker Joe Bang, who digs hard boiled eggs despite his high cholesterol levels. He is flawless as he tempers aggression with rough, old-school charm.

The trio are well-supported by; Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid – who ham it up amusingly as idiotic attendants, MacFarlane as the heavily accented millionaire, Hilary Swank as Sarah Grayson – the special agent who is investigating the heist, Katie Holmes as Jimmy’s ex-wife Bobbie Jo, Katherine Waterson as Jimmy’s schoolmate – Sylvia Harrison who now works in a mobile clinic. But unfortunately in miniscule roles, they are all wasted.

Overall, sans the thrilling factor, this hard boiled heist comedy, is unconvincing and difficult to digest.

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