As a director you must have pull in the industry, if you semi-retire, change your mind and then assemble a cast including Daniel Craig, Hilary Swank, Adam Driver, Channing Tatum, Seth McFarlane and Katie Holmes for your next “little movie”.
So what has director Steven Soderbergh come out of “feature retirement” for?
In a year dominated by sequels, prequels and so forth, an original film that plays just for fun is welcome indeed.
“Jimmy Logan” (Channing Tatum) is a well meaning, good natured loser, working for a construction company in West Virginia USA. He gets fired due to a dodgy leg and liability issues, an injury sustained earlier whilst striving to play pro football. His daughter “Sadie” (Farrah Mackenzie) is a bittersweet comfort, as she lives with Jimmy’s ex, “Bobby Jo” Katie Holmes and her new crass car dealer partner “Moody” David Denman.
Logan needs a break and decides to drag his ex-marine sad sack bartender brother “Clyde” (Adam Driver), into his latest scheme. A heist from the Charlotte Motor speedway on race day, the fact his brother only has one arm or rather, one hand, is no barrier to success.
To achieve this seemingly half baked plan, they need an explosive expert, cue “Joe Bang” (Daniel Craig). There is slight flaw in the scheme, he is currently “In-car-cer-ra-ted” but the brothers have a plan, to break him out and back in again.
This is unfortunate, as Jimmy and Clyde are not themselves the sharpest tools in the draw, suffering from the “Logan Curse” of bad luck. But including their somewhat smarter hairdressing sister “Mellie Logan” (Riley Keough), the low rent Ocean’s “6” is good to go.
What follows is great fun, the plan proves more complex than first outlined and all concerned are maybe a little smarter than we give them credit for. Maybe because of the deliberate hillbilly accents and “Trump country” feel to the settings.
Whilst the obvious divide between rich and poor is evident, it’s not pushed down our throats. There remains a pervading feeling of political promises made, whether they come to fruition remains to be seen. The film does not make fun of the characters, treating them like real people with good and bad character traits.
There are flaws, a sub plot presumably to mock a certain energy drink company with Seth Macfarlane and his sponsored NASCAR driver, seems to go nowhere and adds nothing to the story.
A vast suspension of disbelief is also required but given this is supposed to be fun, that’s an easy leap to make. All the cast are having a ball, especially Craig who is clearly relishing being free of his perfect, yet lucrative James Bond shackles.
An original comic thriller, which has you rooting for the “bad” guys and nobody gets blown away in slow motion, which makes for a pleasant change.
Great fun and highly enjoyable, recommended