Steven Soderbergh’s LOGAN LUCKY
Logan Lucky, I’m happy to report, is one such movie. It does not make fun of its down-and-out Southern working-class characters, nor does it engage in excessively political, sexual, or violent themes. Its characters are portrayed with humor and charm.
We do see examples of class warfare. You have to expect that in a film like this where the folks who are just “hanging on” have to engage regularly with a system that has stacked the deck against them.
Yet, despite the entertaining characters and events portrayed here, there is an underlying message. Two Iraqi war veterans, both seriously injured, now find themselves in a social and economic place where they see robbing a bank as a logical response to the events conspiring against them. In this case the ”bank” is the Charlotte Motor Speedway. One of the brothers, fired recently from his job, knows where to get his hands on a lot of NASCAR race day concession cash.
The planning, the actual heist, and the plot twists that follow are very tightly choreographed and always entertaining.
My one criticism of the film is its portrayal of the young daughter of Channing Tatum's main character and her participation in a beauty pageant/talent contest where she is coiffed and made-up like an adult. While there is nothing overtly sexual being portrayed here, the social acceptance of the objectification of young children I found unsettling and almost creepy.
Aside from that, the overall flow of the movie is fun and entertaining as potentially serious or even divisive themes are pushed to the background. They’re still there, though. By the end of the film we’re left hanging somewhat as a major plot element is deliberately unresolved -- which is probably one of the few serious bows to reality made by this very entertaining movie.
Review copyright 2017 by Dennis D McDonald