Review: "Logan Lucky"

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Studio interference can either completely butcher a film, or provide the necessary guidance to get the movie to the correct place, not only in the eyes of the Studio but also the director. The newest movie to try and survive without a studio, “Logan Lucky,” is the return of famed director Steven Soderbergh, his first movie since 2013. Now, this movie has sadly gone completely under the radar, due to the fact that Soderbergh decided to step into the place of what a normal studio would do – by handling the marketing and distribution of the film himself. Does this gamble pay off? Or did Soderbergh bite off too much to handle?        

First off, let's start with the movie itself. “Logan Lucky,” is the story of the Logan brothers (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver), who hatch a plan to rob Charlotte Motor Speedway after Tatum's character loses his construction job at the track. Both Tatum and Driver do an excellent job with not only their characters, but even with their accents equally supported. As a native to North Carolina, they really did a great job capturing that region's dialect. The movie has a hard time establishing a tone at the beginning, but once the jokes start, they never stop. The clear standout of the movie is an absolutely insane Daniel Craig playing “Joe Bang,” a demolitions expert. After seeing Craig play the titular character in the “James Bond” series, seeing him just lose himself in the absurdity of this character is truly hilarious to watch, and reminds us that Craig can really flex his acting chops. The only real problem this movie had was in the structure of the third act. At this point, a major character and actress seemingly come out of nowhere, and a really awkward and misplaced Seth MacFarlane character.         

Soderbergh made a really interesting choice by not working with a studio at all for this movie. Not only did this give him complete control over every aspect of the story, but because he didn’t have a marketing division like most studios, the marketing of this film was really relegated to the last week before the movie was released. This choice hurts the film in more ways than Soderbergh realized. This is easily my favorite of his movies since “Ocean's Eleven,” and with a proper marketing budget, this movie could’ve easily tripled its measly $8 million opening weekend. I also believe that having a studio involved could’ve really helped the movie's weird structure and tone issues.         

“Logan Lucky” might be my new favorite heist movie, and the fact that not many people even know this movie is out might make it the biggest misstep of the summer. The acting from top to bottom is superb, the story is interesting, while at the same time being believable. This feels like a return to form for Soderbergh, and it's is a movie I’m going to show as many people as possible.

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