By Megan Bianco
Cinematic auteur Steven Soderbergh is an intriguing enigma. He made the successful transition from indie filmmaker to studio director effortlessly, being one of only two directors to ever be nominated for “Best Director” twice in the same year. His public image is mystique too, with multiple pseudonyms behind the scenes, sometimes bizarre interview gimmicks and erroneously announcing an early retirement in 2013, only to go back to work with Logan Lucky, which is now in theaters.
On the West Virginia border, blue-collar laborer Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) loses his job and is about to lose his daughter when he discovers his ex-wife, Bobbi Jo (Katie Holmes), and her new husband are moving the family out of state. As a quick way to make some big money, Jimmy recruits his brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), to come up with a scheme to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with their sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), and convicted safecracker, Joe Bang (Daniel Craig).
Seth MacFarlane, Sebastian Stan and Hilary Swank also make up some of the big-name cast. Logan Lucky is a solid, straightforward heist flick, akin to a southern Ocean’s Eleven (2001), also from Soderbergh. With his usual pseudonyms as cinematographer, editor and screenwriter, Soderbergh reminds us that even with a big budget he hasn’t abandoned his indie roots and doesn’t feel the need to pander. With NASCAR inside jokes and a guitar-heavy score surrounding a backwoods atmosphere with an amusing ensemble cast, Logan is a decent way to end the summer movie season.