Logan Lucky follows two down-on-their luck brothers as they try to rob the biggest NASCAR race of the year.

Pro – Having fun

Logan Lucky is a film that appears to have been as fun to make as it is to watch. Heist movies tread a thin line in that they need to convince the audience to root for, and enjoy, someone committing a pretty serious crime. Creating the circumstances for that to occur is hard to do, because it’s done poorly more often than not. Logan Lucky succeeds where many others fail.

The story overall is well written and fun. Writer Rebecca Blunt and director Steven Soderbergh manage to create characters and situations the audience can feel comfortable getting behind. They also deliver a cool and only semi-unrealistic plan for the robbery, which is always the linchpin in these types of movies. The actors seem to be having a lot of fun in their roles, and that comes through to the audience. Their portrayals of their “classic hick” characters are great because they have fun with the characters and stereotypes, rather than making fun of them. That’s a big distinction. Equally great are the cameos that show up throughout the movie, even up to the end. Also, can someone help me figure out when Channing Tatum became one of my favorite actors in Hollywood? How did that happen?

Pro – The heist

As mentioned above, the heist in a heist film is critical. It needs to be cool, but also somewhat believable, at least within the logic and context of the film. Much like Ocean’s 11, Logan Lucky delivers. The plan is suitably complicated and fun to watch unfold. Sure, it’s not very realistic, but at least it’s plausible. It also is set up in a way to keep the protagonists likeable, which often is a pitfall in these movies. Finally, it has some twists and some unforeseen wrinkles, but these fit into the narrative and make sense, rather than feeling forced or contrived.

Con – Forced scenes

My only con, and this is pretty mild, is that there a few parts that seem forced. It’s like the director thought of a scene or dialogue that he felt was particularly funny and so just shoe-horned those parts into the movie. There were a couple parts like that which briefly took me out of the film. They felt like unnatural appendages, which I suppose is somewhat ironic in a film starring Adam Driver’s Clyde Logan and his missing hand.

Logan Lucky is fun, interesting, and full of great characters. Break out of your house to watch Channing Tatum and company steal the show.