After reading how badly Rex Reed ripped ‘Logan Lucky‘ in his review this weekend, even though I could probably give a rat’s behind what Mr. Reed thinks, it swayed me back to wondering if maybe this was just one of those over-hyped films that critics try to prop up for the wrong reasons. Thankfully he was wrong. This happened to be, in my humble opinion, arguably the most satisfying film I’ve seen all year.

Why? The biggest reason is these are very likable characters on display here. Everyone in the cast makes you forget their real name and easily get lost in the believablity that they’re in fact, these fictional personas caught up in quite the heist story. And speaking of the story, the type of caper that’s pulled off by Channing Tatum’s character, Jimmy Logan, along with help of his brother, Clyde Logan, played by Adam Driver, is one in which it’s very easy to root for these down home people that aren’t your usual suspects. Driver’s character is an Iraqi Veteran that apparently lost his arm while serving over there. Tatum’s character is your classic down on his luck, salt to the earth lad that cares deeply about his little girl and just wants to provide some semblance of a stable life for her. Add to it, the inclusion of Daniel Craig playing ‘Joe Bang’, a man who went to prison for setting off explosives for a living, and you have yourself quite the trio of southern folk to root for. Last but not least, the rest of the main cast in Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterson, Hilary Swank, Seth MacFarlene and Sean Sebastian all add their own ingratiating spunk to their roles that you willingly get lost in the story with them.

Another reason for the film’s charm? The setting. Set in the south, primarily West Virginia and North Carolina, there’s just a certain warm fuzzy that director Steven Soderbergh captures on film that pairs up with the central characters in the best way possible. Make no mistake about it, this is the warm apple pie of fictional heist stories in modern cinema and beyond that sentiment, I can’t quite put my finger on why this worked so well except to say see for yourself!

And in a year where a lot of tent-pole movies went egregiously heavy on action and violence, I’ve haven’t seen such a tame film in a long time by comparison. Even during a bar scuffle in the beginning of the first act, you’re not forced to cringe like we’ve become accustomed to when someone is about to get their ass whipped. Logan Lucky was indeed a nice change of pace and although I’m first in line for many R rated films, I’m happy to see Hollywood lighten up a bit in that department. It should also be noted that seeing James Bond and Kylo Ren sharing the screen at the same time, playing diametrically different characters than we’re used to seeing these actors play, was simply the epitome of cool.

Lastly, without spoiling how this film ends, the best complement I can give it is you may find yourself not wanting to leave these characters. They’re quirky enough that even if this movie was two hours longer, it wouldn’t be laborious by any stretch of the imagination to stay plugged into their lives. Nuff said!

4 out of 4 Stars

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