LOGAN LUCKY

Cert 12A 118mins Stars 3

Having reportedly retired from making feature films in 2012, the director of classic heist movie Ocean’s 11 can’t resist returning for one more criminal caper.

Sadly for Steven Soderbergh as decent as Logan Lucky is, this is in all ways a down market riff on his glossy 2001 George Clooney Las Vegas smash. Though it is far better than the lamentable and self indulgent Ocean sequels.

Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play the good old Logan boys Jimmy and Clyde, whose family it is locally believed are cursed by ill fortune, hence the title.

Jimmy’s ex wife is taking their daughter to another State and he needs money to hire a lawyer to fight for custody. He’s also just unfairly lost his job at the nearby motor racing track, from which he promptly decides to steal a fortune.

He rounds up a crew which includes Daniel Craig. The 007 star is clearly having a blast a tattooed explosive expert.

Riley Keough, Katie Holmes and Katherine Waterston add glamour, romance and some brains.

Written by the fictitious Rebecca Blunt in the quirky comic style of the Coen Brothers, many suspect the writer was really Soderbergh himself, who has previously used the pseudonym Mary Ann Bernard when working as an editor. If it is him then we know who to blame for various script issues.

With the absence of a bad guy and the police generally incompetent, the good guys are more or less pushing at an open door to get the loot. Nor is it always clear if the film is laughing with or at the dim witted desperadoes and townsfolk.

Subplots featuring Seth MacFarlane as a British racing driver and Hilary Swank as a FBI agent should have been cut to give proceedings a much needed sense of urgency. The pace mirrors the drawl of the hillybilly West Virginia characters.

As Logan Lucky failed to make a killing at the US box office, perhaps early retirement wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

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