|This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2017)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steven Soderbergh|
|Written by||Rebecca Blunt|
|Music by||David Holmes|
|Edited by||Mary Ann Bernard|
|Box office||$39.9 million|
Logan Lucky is a 2017 American heist comedy film directed by Steven Soderbergh, based on an original script written by unknown newcomer Rebecca Blunt. Soderbergh came out of retirement to direct the film and to distribute it independently through his own company Fingerprint Releasing. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, Hilary Swank, Katherine Waterston and Sebastian Stan, and follows the unlucky Logan family who plan to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and try to avoid getting caught by the FBI.
Logan Lucky was premiered in Knoxville on August 9, 2017, and was released in the United States on August 18, 2017, by Bleecker Street. The film received positive reviews, with many critics praising Soderbergh's direction and the cast's performances, and has grossed $39 million worldwide.
Jimmy Logan, a blue collar laborer whose once promising football career was ruined by an injury, is laid off from his construction job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. While visiting his ex-wife Bobbie Jo to pick up their daughter Sadie for a beauty pageant, he learns that Bobbie and her new husband intend to move to Lynchburg, making it even harder for him to visit.
Angry, Jimmy goes to a bar run by his brother Clyde, an Iraq War veteran who, on account of losing part of his left arm, wears a prosthetic hand. Max Chilblain, a pretentious British businessman, and his friends arrive and insult Clyde before getting in a fight with Jimmy. Meanwhile Clyde sets fire to their car with a molotov cocktail. On his way out, Jimmy yells "cauliflower", which Clyde recognizes as an old code word from when they used to commit crimes as young boys. Next day, Jimmy explains his plan to rob Speedway, exploiting his knowledge of pneumatic tube system for moving money.
Clyde agrees to the plan, and he and Jimmy recruit Joe Bang, a convicted safecracker, as well as Joe's dimwitted brothers Sam and Fish, and their own sister Mellie. They plan to break Joe out of prison and return him as soon as the heist is complete before anyone notices. Clyde gets sent to prison on a minor charge. Mellie, Sam, and Fish infest the Speedway's main vault with cockroaches, forcing it to be cleaned and allowing them to measure it. While gathering supplies, Jimmy meets former schoolmate Sylvia, who runs a mobile clinic in desperate need of donations. Jimmy learns that construction at the speedway is being finished ahead of schedule, forcing them to commit the heist earlier, during the much busier Coca-Cola 600 race on Memorial Day weekend.
Joe and Clyde arrange for the prison's inmates to stage a riot, the lockdown hiding their absence. They escape through the infirmary and exit the prison by hiding under a delivery truck. Mellie meets them with a stolen sports car, and drives them to the Speedway. Meanwhile Sam and Fish destroy the main generator with an explosive, forcing all vendors to switch to cash. Joe improvises an explosive from bleach, gummy bears, and a dietary salt substitute to detonate the main pneumatic pipe; the crew begins vacuuming the money. The staff notice smoke coming out of the tubes, and security guards are dispatched to investigate; but a diversion set up by Jimmy and one of Clyde's bar patrons prevents them from discovering the heist. Complications arise when Clyde loses his prosthetic hand during the vacuuming, and he and Joe are spotted by Chilblain and his sponsored NASCAR driver Dayton White while making their way back to prison. Nevertheless, the job is a success, and Jimmy makes it to his daughter's pageant just as she performs a rendition of his favorite song, "Take Me Home, Country Roads". Jimmy abandons the money and anonymously alerts the police so they can retrieve it.
FBI agent Sarah Grayson investigates the heist, but due to the unwillingness of the prison authorities to disclose extent of the riot and the refuting of Chilblain's eyewitness account by White (disgruntled as he crashed during the Coca-Cola 600 due to his drinking some of Chilblain's energy drink as part of the sponsorship deal) as well as the Speedway administration's satisfaction with their insurance settlement, the case is closed after six months. Joe is released and returns to his old home, where prompted by a red shovel he finds part of the money buried by a tree in his yard. During the heist, Jimmy purposely separated several bags from the rest of the loot and sent them to the local dump with the regular trash. The rest he returned to throw off any potential investigations. Jimmy also retrieved Clyde's prosthetic hand from the vacuum machine. Now working as a Lowe's salesman and with a house he bought next to his daughter's, Jimmy happily reunites with his family at Clyde's bar, where they and the rest of the gang share drinks. Clyde doesn't recognize one of the participants, who turns out to be Grayson continuing her investigation undercover.
Seven NASCAR drivers make cameo appearances in the film. Jeff Gordon is himself as a broadcast analyst for NASCAR on Fox, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are West Virginia state troopers, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are security guards, Kyle Larson is a limousine driver, and Ryan Blaney is a delivery boy.
Soderbergh's 2013 film, Behind the Candelabra, was intended to be his final directorial effort in film. Soderbergh has said that he was initially given the Logan Lucky script in hopes that he could recommend a suitable director for the project, but that he enjoyed reading the script and decided to take it on for himself, specifically noting that it was an "anti-glam version of an Ocean's movie". He told Entertainment Weekly, "Nobody dresses nice. Nobody has nice stuff. They have no money. They have no technology. It's all rubber band technology." At the time Soderbergh was also theorizing a new distribution model and felt that the script gave him the perfect opportunity to do so.
There has been speculation regarding the identity of the film's screenwriter, Rebecca Blunt. The film's production notes state that she is a native of Logan, West Virginia who now lives in New York City, and that she is a first-time screenwriter. No one other than Soderbergh and Adam Driver has personally vouched for her existence. Some people involved with the film have exchanged emails with a person they believed to be her, and believe that she lives in the United Kingdom. Sources have speculated that "Rebecca Blunt" is actually a pseudonym for Soderbergh's wife Jules Asner, for comedian John Henson, or for Soderbergh himself.
The film was announced in February 2016 along with the announcement of Channing Tatum's casting.Variety initially reported that Matt Damon was also to star, although Deadline.com reported the same day that Damon was not involved, but rather Michael Shannon. Shannon would, however, later leave the project due to scheduling conflicts. Much of the rest of the cast was announced between that May and August, among them: Seth MacFarlane, Adam Driver and Daniel Craig in May,Hillary Swank in June and Jim O'Heir in August.
On August 24, 2016, Logan Lucky began filming. Production lasted 36 days, with much of the photography taking place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. They also filmed scenes during the Bank of America 500 in October.
David Holmes composed the score for the film, having previously scored other Soderbergh films including Out of Sight, the Ocean's Trilogy, and Haywire. The soundtrack was released by Milan Records; it includes a cue "Original Score Medley" by David Holmes, and music by various artists.
Fingerprint Releasing and Bleecker Street released the film on August 18, 2017.Logan Lucky is the first film distributed by Fingerprint Releasing which was founded by Soderbergh to distribute films independently instead through the big studios. The distributors spent $20 million on prints and advertising.
As of September 20, 2017, Logan Lucky has grossed $26.9 million in the United States and Canada and $12.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $39.6 million, against a production budget of $29 million.
In North America, the film was released alongside The Hitman's Bodyguard and was projected to gross $7-9 million from 3,008 theaters in its opening weekend. Having already covered the cost of the production budget through international advance sales, and the costs of prints and advertising through a deal with Amazon Soderbergh said a debut of $15 million would be needed to be considered a success. The film made $2.8 million on its first day (including $525,000 from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $7.6 million, finishing third at the box office behind The Hitman's Bodyguard and Annabelle: Creation. In its second weekend the film made $4.2 million, dropping 44.2% and finishing in 5th, in what was the lowest combined grossing weekend since September 2001. The film made $4.4 million the following weekend (an increase of 4%) and an estimated $5.5 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend. It was again involved in a historically low weekend, as it was the worst combined holiday weekend since 1998.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 93% based on reviews from 203 critics, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "High-octane fun that's smartly assembled without putting on airs, Logan Lucky marks a welcome end to Steven Soderbergh's retirement--and proves he hasn't lost his ability to entertain." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a score of 78 out of 100, based on reviews from 51 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave the film a positive review, writing, "Steven Soderbergh's Logan Lucky is a high-spirited, low-down blast." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, saying, "This is a good-times film that doesn't put on airs, dress to impress or pretend to be something it isn't. It just aims to please and does a pretty good job of it."Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars, praising the smooth direction and efficiency of storytelling Soderbergh brought to the film, stating that other than him wishing for more scenes to give its "oddball characters" more depth, "[Logan Lucky is] a precision-tooled entertainment made by experts, and sometimes more than that. Watching it is like finding money in the pocket of a coat that you haven't worn in years."
Rex Reed of The New York Observer was critical of the film and described Soderbergh as an overrated director. Reed complains that the film takes a slower pace than Oceans Eleven. Although he praises the camera work, music and ham acting, he concludes "It doesn't work. Logan Lucky is as charming and welcome as toenail fungus."