8 Tweedle Dees and Tweedle Dums out of 10
“Logan Lucky” is a well-shot, well-acted, small-town heist film that has its fair share of laughs. Because it shares the same director, Steven Soderbergh, and possess a fairly similar plot, “Logan Lucky” is going to be compared to “Ocean’s Eleven” (2001). And, to be honest, it doesn’t hold up well to that comparison. My biggest issue with “Logan Lucky” is handled much better in “Ocean’s Eleven,” which has a lot more moments where you’re laughing out loud. But I think the comparison is important because it reveals a lot about Soderbergh and how his directing has affected the film.
When I say “Logan Lucky” is shot excellently, I don’t mean that it has a wealth of stunning money shots. It’s more that “Logan Lucky” is shot tightly and efficiently, and in an engaging way. Much of the film is pure dialogue so using subtle cinematography excellently is important to keeping its audience engaged. It does, however, help that the dialogue is extremely engaging in its own right. “Logan Lucky” has an excellent cast, and they’re all giving great and often hilarious performances. For me, Daniel Craig as Joe Bang was the stand out, and often scene stealer, but across the board the performances of the film are a joy to watch.
My biggest issue with “Logan Lucky” is that it doesn’t actually put a lot of energy into investing us in the heist. In “Ocean’s Eleven,” the owner of the casino they plan to heist is sleeping with the love interest of the titular Ocean. In “Logan Lucky,” you don’t really have anything like that. Some of the people in the film could use the money, but it just doesn’t feel like there’s anything grand at stake. And that acted to the detriment of my investment in the heist. I don’t think it nearly ruined the movie, but I didn’t have any of those breathless moments I had in “Ocean’s Eleven.”
A major trait of Soderbergh’s work, one that is present in both “Logan Lucky” and “Ocean’s Eleven,” is that he likes to take big Hollywood plots and focus on the little moments that they often gloss over. This is on prominent display in “Logan Lucky,” because the film isn’t really about the heist. The heist is really only a small portion of the film, it’s really about the setup for the heist. It’s the small moments in there that Soderbergh finds his bread and butter. But this isn’t exactly new ground for the heist film genre, Soderbergh made “Ocean’s Eleven” back in 2001. But it’s important for how it affects the plot and pacing of “Logan Lucky” because it’s about those little moments that don’t always seem relevant the film can feel like it’s paced pretty slow. You eventually realize that all those little moments that might’ve seemed pointless serve a purpose within the story, but it doesn’t change the fact that the pacing can feel slow, which could be a turn off to a lot people.
Ultimately, “Logan Lucky” is a great film, but a mediocre movie. It’s got plenty of laughs, lots of great performances, and excellent cinematography. But it can also be slow, and for people who just want some easy entertainment for two hours, that can be a real turnoff. Personally, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and if you’re on the fence about seeing it I think you should check it out.