Logan Lucky ★★

Occasionally, people would say to me “Hey John, you really like Ocean’s Eleven! You should totally check out Logan Lucky ! It’s basically just an Oceans Eleven remake with hillbillies!”

Oceans Twelve remake with hillbillies, if we’re being generous.

There’s lots of problems with this film (Adam Driver’s Tim Blake Nelson impression was incredibly distracting, character motivations are paper thin (which I think they kinda joke about at one point in the film but can’t be sure if this was the film being self-aware or just a throwaway gag)) but let me just nerd out about one thing for a moment.

For a heist film to be successful, the filmmakers need to establish all the elements of the heist clearly. The setup makes sense. Then, at the final turn, the audience is given some information that recontextualises those same elements that have been established and everything falls into place. If you watch the film again, the setup makes a different kind of sense. And is (hopefully) still entertaining.

This is why I don’t find films like Oceans Twelve and Logan Lucky quite as satisfying. Their ‘twist’ is based on deliberately withholding information from the audience. “We know we showed you the setup and then left you wondering what happened. Well, surprise! Here’s an extra load of stuff that happened a half an hour ago that we didn’t show you!” It’s a get out of jail free card for lazy filmmakers because literally anything can happen in these new inserts. The rules are out the window. Channing Tatum may as well have gotten help from Optimus Prime for all it matters at this point.

Now don’t get me wrong, even these films can still be entertaining in their own way but, for me, it’s just weak storytelling.