Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Katherine Waterson, John Eyez, Dwight Yoakum, Jeff Gordan, Sebastian Stan, Farrah Mackenzie, Rebecca Koon, Charles Halford, David Denman, Jim O’ Heir, Jack Quaid, Brian Gleeson.
It feels awkward to pull upon a thread which involves Channing Tatum, an actor who can spellbind an audience as Burt Gurney in Hail, Ceasar!, and show absolute aloofness and brilliant cinematic reserve when required in Foxcatcher, and yet to whom will willingly fall back to alleged type on films such as Magic Mike, Jupiter Ascending and White House Down.
There is no denying that the actor has a bucketful of charisma off screen and comes across a thoughtful and decent man, it is just a shame that some of his screen choices are perhaps not up to the mark of the man, of the actor he could be and in Logan Lucky he comes somewhere between the two, of being intensely likeable but just not convincing in the role he has been charged with playing.
The heist is a dichotomy, it always has to make sense to the cinema goer but it also must retain the absolute element of a twist, the one thing you don’t see coming. Few films truly ever reach the pinnacle of the final moment, the climax being as satisfying as the robbery unfolding, a small number giving the audience the kick of seeing it either succeed or left in doubt what will eventually play out and if a film can perhaps reach the highs of the original versions of both The Italian Job and The Ladykillers, Die Hard and its superior second sequel Die Hard 3 or the brilliant The Usual Suspects, then it has done all it has set out to do, it can be seen as being ranked at the top of its genre.
Logan Lucky comes close, so very close; it crosses the finishing line, it goes on a lap of honour, it acknowledges the crowd but it trips up in front of the rostrum and fails to collect its winner’s medal as it remains knocked out on the grass surrounded by dreams and aspirations. That said it did finish and with a cast that includes Adam Driver, Katherine Waterson, Hilary Swank Seth MacFarlane, in a slightly more serious role that might have been intended, Daniel Craig as the immensely agreeable con Joe Bang and Jack Quaid as his brother, it would have been a scandal if it had limped towards a futile end.
A very decent heist, one that steals the screen in many ways, and in a couple of irritating moments, one involving the unpleasantness of child exploitation in beauty pageants, Logan Lucky is at the finer end of the genre, a more cerebral way to spend a couple of hours.
Ian D. Hall