Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steven Soderbergh|
|Written by||Rebecca Blunt|
|Music by||David Holmes|
|Edited by||Steven Soderbergh|
|Box office||$47.3 million|
Logan Lucky is a 2017 American heist comedy film directed by Steven Soderbergh, based on a screenplay and 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 the casts' performances and Soderbergh's direction, and grossed $47 million worldwide.
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is laid off from his construction job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Visiting his ex-wife Bobbie Jo (Katie Holmes) to pick up their daughter Sadie for a beauty pageant rehearsal, he learns that Bobbie Jo and her new husband are moving to Lynchburg, making it even harder for Jimmy to visit.
Jimmy goes to a bar, run by his brother Clyde (Adam Driver), an Iraq-War veteran who wears a prosthetic hand. Max Chilblain (Seth MacFarlane), a pretentious British businessman and NASCAR-team owner, arrives with his friends and insults Clyde, leading to a fight with Jimmy. Meanwhile, Clyde sets fire to Max's car with a molotov cocktail. On his way out, Jimmy yells "cauliflower," which Clyde recognizes as a codeword they used when they committed crimes as young boys. Next day, Jimmy reveals his plan to rob the Speedway, exploiting his knowledge of their pneumatic tube system for moving money.
Clyde agrees to the plan, and he and Jimmy recruit their sister Mellie (Riley Keough), Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a convicted safecracker, as well as Joe's dimwitted brothers Sam and Fish (Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid). They plan to break Joe out of prison and return him, after the heist is complete, before anyone notices. Clyde intentionally gets himself sent to prison on a minor charge. Mellie, Sam, and Fish infest the Speedway's pneumatic tubes with cockroaches that they'd painted different colors, helping them determine which set of tubes to use. While gathering supplies, Jimmy meets former schoolmate Sylvia (Katherine Waterston), who runs a mobile clinic in need of donations; Sylvia provides Jimmy with a tetanus shot, and the two strike up a conversation. Later, Jimmy learns that construction at the speedway is being completed ahead of schedule, forcing them to reschedule the heist for an earlier date, 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, resulting in a lockdown to hide their absence. They escape by hiding under a delivery truck. Mellie meets them with a sports car, stolen from Bobbie Jo's husband. At the speedway, Sam and Fish destroy a generator with an explosive, forcing all vendors to accept cash only. Joe improvises an explosive from bleach, gummy bears, and a dietary salt substitute, which detonates within the pneumatic tube system, allowing the crew to begin collecting all of the vendors' cash. The staff notice smoke coming out of the tubes, and security guards investigate, but a diversion set up by Jimmy and one of Clyde's bar patrons prevents them from discovering the heist. The airflow in the tube delivering the money is reversed, causing Clyde's prosthetic arm to be lost. Making their way back to the prison, Clyde and Joe are recognized by Chilblain and his sponsored NASCAR driver Dayton White (Sebastian Stan). The job is a success, and Jimmy makes it to his daughter's pageant in time to hear her perform his favorite song, "Take Me Home, Country Roads." Jimmy then abandons the money and anonymously alerts the police so they can retrieve it.
FBI agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank) investigates the heist. Due to the unwillingness of the prison authorities to disclose the extent of the riot, due to the refuting of Chilblain's eyewitness account by White (disgruntled because he crashed during the Coca-Cola 600 because he drank some of Chilblain's energy drink as part of the sponsorship deal), and due to 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 to find a bag of money buried by a tree in his yard. It's then revealed that during the heist, Jimmy purposely separated several bags of money from the rest, and sent them to the local dump with the regular trash. The rest he returned, to discourage any potential investigations. Jimmy also retrieved Clyde's prosthetic hand from the vacuum tube. Now working in a hardware store and having bought a house near his daughter and ex-wife's home, Jimmy happily reunites with his family at Clyde's bar, where they and the rest of the gang share drinks. Sylvia also arrives and shares a kiss with Jimmy. Clyde doesn't recognize one of the patrons, who turns out to be Grayson.
Six other NASCAR drivers make cameo appearances in the film. 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 speculated that "Rebecca Blunt" was actually a pseudonym for Soderbergh's wife Jules Asner, for comedian John Henson, or for Soderbergh himself. According to The Playlist, Jules Asner was the sole screenwriter and chose to use a pseudonym because she didn't want the 'story' of the film to be that "Soderbergh was directing his wife's script." The film shares broad plot elements with Donald E. Westlake's novel Ask the Parrot as well as minor plot points with several of Westlake's other Parker novels. Westlake published his Parker novels under the pseudonym "Richard Stark," a name that is seemingly echoed by "Rebecca Blunt."
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 later left 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,Hilary 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 Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway during the NASCAR race meetings at both circuits, including forcing the Atlanta outside barriers to be repainted yellow (Charlotte has yellow walls, owing to then-entitlement sponsor Sprint; Atlanta has white walls with red and blue pattern for the charity that is involved with race sponsor QuikTrip) in an attempt to make viewers believe the film was set in Charlotte when it was filmed in Atlanta; for example, the Fox commentators inside the commentary box is from Atlanta, as the commentators are typically positioned on top of the grandstand roof for opening broadcast scenes at Charlotte races, but not Atlanta).
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. The film features "Flashing Lights" by Screamin' Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends.
Fingerprint Releasing and Bleecker Street released the film on August 18, 2017.Logan Lucky is the first film distributed by Fingerprint Releasing which Soderbergh created to distribute films independently, instead of through the big studios. The distributors spent $20 million on prints and advertising.
As of January 7, 2018, Logan Lucky has grossed $27.8 million in the United States and Canada and $19.5 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $47.3 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 92% based on reviews from 237 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 needing 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 Ocean's Eleven. Although he praised the camera work, music and ham acting, he concluded, "It doesn't work. Logan Lucky is as charming and welcome as toenail fungus."
Logan Lucky released on digital download on November 14, 2017 and released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray on November 28, 2017.