Steven Soderbergh’s return to feature-film directing may come less than 5 years after “retiring,” but I’m glad he’s back. This tale about a crew of West Virginia hillbillies that robs a Nascar track is never less than compulsively watchable, and contains enough low-key pleasures to make you excited to see what Soderbergh does next.
What Works: Soderbergh has always had a knack for curveball casting, and that’s on display here featuring Riley Keough as a Southern sexpot in tassled boots, Seth MacFarlane as an obnoxious British mogul, and particularly Daniel Craig as incarcerated bank robber Joe Bang. Channing Tatum anchors the film as its brow-beaten soul, and Soderbergh even manages to make it convincing that Tatum and Adam Driver (as a one-armed bartender) would be related.
What Doesn’t: Hillary Swank is more than a little broad in her scenes as an investigating FBI agent, and you may wonder exactly whose idea it was to have her play each scene as a creepily eccentric Disney villainess. Plus, certain scenes of the film are a little poorly-paced, and you may notice that taking ten seconds off each scene would improve the flow.
What I Would Have Done Differently: Sure, “Logan Lucky” may make the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies look realistic, and the robbery probably won’t seem very convincing to you, but in a summer starving for originality, who can really pick apart one of the season’s most inventive offerings? It’s a low-key, good-natured crime film that’s just sunny and offbeat enough to be nearly irresistable.