Two unlikely actors, (at least I’ve never thought of them together) team up to create just the right level of pizzazz in “Logan Lucky.” Although Channing Tatum and Adam Driver don’t look like brothers, that’s the way they’re cast. I’m pleased to tell you that they make this movie work on multiple levels.
Each of these actors brings his unique, individual magic to contribute to this brotherly duo, creating a pair that’s both endearing and bizarre. They look out for each other, all the while engaging in a brand of repartee that defies categorization. They exude Southern charm, and they steal the show.
Driver and Tatum personalize Jimmy and Clyde Logan with heavy North Carolina accents and a dose of red neck. Clyde has a history. A former soldier, he lost his hand in the war, and his prosthetic becomes a character in and of itself. Jimmy’s a no-nonsense good old boy. Miraculously, the brothers don’t come off as hillbilly buffoons, in part because of the sincerity Driver and Tatum manage to imbue them with.
Something about “Logan Lucky” borders on the edge of campiness, much in the manner of that old favorite Raising Arizona (1987); however, “Logan Lucky” doesn’t have enough of the camp to take it to those extremes. The plot gallops along at a fast pace through all manner of high-jinx.
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) reaches the end of his patience when he’s fired from his job, and his bank balance hits zero. His rich ex-wife Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes) underscores his failings every time he shows up to pick up his little daughter Sadie (Farrah Mackenzie). Out of sheer desperation to change his situation, Jimmy Logan concocts an unlikely and highly involved plan. Enlisting the help of his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) and others, Logan schemes up the heist of the century.
He puts together a team consisting of his little sister Mellie (Riley Keough). Clyde, and the Bang brothers to rob the vault of NASCAR. Timing is everything, and circumstances beyond Jimmy’s control occur that require him to move the date. Now the heist must be perpetrated during one of the busiest and best attended NASCAR races of the year.
Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) has the safe cracking skills, but he’s in jail. His brothers Fish (Jack Quaid) and Sam (Brian Gleeson) have their own roles to play, so Jimmy’s plan becomes even more complex. Orchestration of a million details comes down to perfect timing and skill. Don’t blink or you’ll miss one of the intricate steps in this highly coordinated effort.
The ending holds a twist that further enhances the suspense and, ultimately, the resolution. These bad boys are simply full of surprises.
Rated PG-13 for language and some crude comments.
Marilyn Robitaille has been writing film reviews since 1999.