Logan Lucky Screen 12 articles

Logan Lucky

2017

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  • A few interiors, including, oddly, a high school gym, exude Ocean's Eleven's trademark tungsten glow, and Logan Lucky broadly unfolds in that film's unflappable spirit. This time out, a selection of John Denver and Creedence Clearwater Revival tracks sub in for Sinatra to complement another slick, sparsely deployed funk score by Cliff Martinez.

  • As always with Soderbergh’s finest crime capers, knowing that classic Hollywood setup by heart doesn't quite explain the range of clever, hilarious surprises the movie devises and watches its characters think through, nor does it anticipate Soderbergh’s slickly satisfying way of capturing it all.

  • Though Soderbergh’s skewering of Southern folkways occasionally slips toward the territory of Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel, he ultimately seems to have great affection for his dimwitted-like-a-fox hillbilly heroes, and if you go in expecting no more than a pleasant summer romp, you will likely feel the same. Logan Lucky may not be the most groundbreaking film for Soderbergh to have chosen to make for his grand, if unsurprising, return to the big screen. But it’s a pleasure to have him back.

  • Its script, by Rebecca Blunt, is taut and intricate, with a mosaic-like intercutting between characters and places, brashly interjected narrative parentheticals, and an explanatory circling-back that’s pulled off with a mercurial sleight of hand. It’s also tangy with felicitously folksy found verbal objects that blend an elbows-out brusqueness with the warm, sometimes overheated intimacy of lifelong bonds.

  • The film is awash with regionally and culturally grounded details, from the centrality of NASCAR to the child beauty pageant Sadie gets dolled up to compete in. The Logans even conduct some important business at a county fair, and endure a chemical leak contaminating the local water supply with the forbearance of people well-accustomed to being stepped on by corporations. But the film's humor comes from the characters' eccentricities, not the lives they're living.

  • First-time screenwriter Rebecca Blunt (rumored to be Jules Asner, Soderbergh’s wife) never complicates things past a Robin Hood framing... If Asner really did write this script, I can only imagine she and Soderbergh stayed up late laughing in bed at the phrase “Ocean’s 7-Eleven,” which gets uttered by a news reporter describing the backcountry thieves. If Soderbergh’s first Ocean’s had a pitch-perfect ensemble cast, this down-home version matches up in every way.

  • This messy hash of flimflammery comes together, in the end, with ace line-cook clarity. But the pleasures of Logan Lucky go far beyond its mechanics. The actors are all marvelous, and their characters defy cartoonishness even as they dare us to see them only as cartoons... Soderbergh financed it independently, without big studio money, creating a magnificent movie that comes disguised as a modest one. Or as I like to call it, a Joe Bang.

  • The movie is put together with the no-fuss confidence of Soderbergh's best entertainments, staging comedic banter and suspense sequences with equal assurance, even playing sly perception games with the audience by making you wonder how smart or dumb the characters (and the movie) actually are.

  • What is, um, visionary about Logan Lucky is that it’s a comedy that loves all its characters, even when it allows them to occasionally satirize themselves. The film is set in Appalachia, and its heart is in a one-for-all and all-for-one brand of socialism among people who know that it does matter who’s running this country, and that they have to get what they need by themselves.

  • It feels like the work of a filmmaker with nothing to prove, neither sententious seriousness of purpose nor technical knowhow. Freed from such lofty imperatives, the movie can focus instead on the minutiae that matter... all of which help to create the larger world in which our story is taking place. Logan Lucky isn’t perfect in every measurement, but it has about it a feeling of jerry-rigged ingenuity that’s ultimately more appropriate than perfection would be.

  • When faced with a choice between myth and reality, most take the myth. Logan Lucky burrows deep in that myth, sets up shop, and demolishes its core — even as it sustains the generic shell of the hillbilly heist. It’s an incredibly entertaining movie that will undoubtedly become a staple of cable television and on-demand. But it’s also a sly indictment of Trump, and the pervasive myths — of his own business acumen, of the white working class — that have shepherded his rise.

  • The film hums along at a brisk pace, with just the right balance of requisite verbalized planning, character perspective, action, and a hearty dose of humor (comic recesses include elaborate dioramas, impromptu equations chalked on the wall, and a hilarious nod to Game of Thrones). Engaging an impressive variety of camera set-ups, movements, and visual punctuations, Soderbergh, an impeccable visual storyteller, keeps these multilayered dynamics comfortably and judiciously at play.

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