Logan Lucky (PG13)
Starring Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
There’s a lot of hype surrounding Logan Lucky as director Steven Soderbergh’s first movie since coming out of retirement. Then again, did Soderbergh really retire? He didn’t exactly go goofing-off and grow a Gandalf beard; he kept himself busy with Magic Mike XXL and the Cinemax period medical drama The Knick. For his comeback, if you want to call it that, Soderbergh’s essentially done a lo-fi, countrified reboot of his 2001 heist caper Ocean’s Eleven (itself a remake of a 1960 Frank Sinatra/Rat Pack vehicle). It may not be as glamorous as the George Clooney/Brad Pitt version, but it’s just as stylish in its own redneck way. Instead of Las Vegas, Nevada, the action unfolds in Virginia, North Carolina, where Channing Tatum’s retrenched miner assembles an oddball crew (including Adam Driver as the ringleader’s low-key amputee war veteran brother) to hold up a NASCAR race. For some, it’s kinda disheartening to see Soderbergh doing a quasi-remake of his own work, but if he can still keep things fresh and enjoyable, why not? And Logan Lucky has this infectious, cheeky, whistle-while-working vibe that’s hard to resist.
The man to look out for is ‘newcomer’ Daniel Craig (he has a special ‘introducing’ credit). He’s clearly having the time of his life in a rare comedic role as Joe Bang, the bleached blonde explosive expert who can also pass off as a James Bond villain (in fact, he bears an uncanny resemblance to Robert Shaw in From Russia with Love). He has a mesmerising presence and devours every scene he’s in. Oh yeah, this Daniel Craig is going to go far. (***½)