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Logan Lucky Is The Blueprint For A Near-Perfect Heist Movie

Replace George Clooney’s well-dressed Ocean’s Eleven associates with a greasy-haired crew of tank-top-and-trucker-hat-wearing hillbillies, throw in some NASCAR and you’ve got Steven Soderbergh’s latest heist movie, Logan Lucky. In fact, the similarities are so keen that the film takes a first crack at what Soderbergh has called the “anti-glam version of an Ocean’s movie” by having one of it’s own characters wisecrack about their “Ocean’s 7-11” antics.

Set in a movie version of Blue Ridge Mountain country populated by hairdressers, Mustang dealerships, out-of-work miners, and wannabe pageant queens, the action takes place on race day at the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR’s longest competition.

Marshalling the heist are brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver), their sister Mellie (Riley Keough), and legendary vault cracker Joe Bang (Daniel Craig doing a hilarious, if imperfect, Virginian accent). Bang’s two younger brothers (scene-stealers Brian Gleeson and Jack Quaid) also get roped into the scheme. Hilary Swank plays an FBI agent intent on cracking the case and arresting everyone involved.

At the outset, the caper appears to involve breaking out of (and back into) the county prison, sneaking into a construction site underneath the speedway, blowing up the facility’s pneumatic tube concession stand cash delivery system (gummi bears are employed), and vacuuming up bags of money without alerting security.

Pulling it all off successfully means untold riches plus and end to the family curse that Driver’s character insists has haunted the Logans for generations (two of them, at least). But like any really good heist movie, the plan isn’t as linear as it seems.

The script, by mysterious first-time writer Rebecca Blunt, is said to have lured Soderbergh out of a four-year self-imposed directing exile—he had planned for 2013’s Behind the Candelabra to be his final film. And it’s easy to see why. The dialogue in Logan Lucky is very funny, with clever references and in-jokes that will make most pop culture junkies LOL.

It’s also charming—it’s hard not to cheer on the unlucky Logan siblings in their highly questionable get-rich-nitro-quick scheme. As for the plot, there are enough twists to make up for the sometimes strange pacing.

Logan Lucky also stars Katherine Waterston, Seth Macfarlane, Katie Holmes, and Dwight Yoakam and features cameos from a half-dozen NASCAR drivers. It skids onto the screen on August 18. Watch the trailer below:

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