7 Things to Love About Logan Lucky
Yee-haw! Steven Soderbergh is back with an end of summer hayride of a film that will have you howling. Picture Oceans 11 with hillbillies—but replace a high-end Vegas casino with a NASCAR race, and instead of George Clooney and Brad Pitt in designer suits exchanging witty repartee, sub in Adam Driver and Channing Tatum in army fatigues, giving each other crap in southern drawls over cheap beers and Ding Dongs. Set in a world of little-miss beauty pageants, big hair, and small dreams, Logan Lucky sneaks in at the tail end of summer, hitting theaters Aug. 18.
The scheme: After getting fired from his construction job, down-on-his-luck, divorced dad Jimmy Logan (Tatum) hatches a plan to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina during the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race. He convinces his brother Clyde (played by Driver) to go along with his hair-brained idea and reverse what they feel is their “Logan Curse” —which is basically being losers. Along the way, they enlist a colorful cast of characters to help them, and mayhem ensues.
There are plenty of madcap moments—like when Driver loses his fake arm and when a group of prisoners who have taken over a jail mess hall demand the next installment of George RR Martin’s Winds of Winter before they give in. But here are seven even-better things that happen in this movie.
Adam Driver Makes Up a Secret Language
Driver nails the super dry, one-armed bartender Clyde Logan. He’s a conspiracy theorist with a slow drawl who pours drinks at the local dive, The Duct Tape. An Iraq War veteran, he and his brother Jimmy have their own language including secret words like “cauliflower” which roughly means: Let's get in trouble. Clyde seems destined to become a cult classic character and maybe even the inspiration for a few Halloween costumes this fall.
Riley Keough as a Getaway Driver
With her super-short daisy dukes, neon bikini top, white cowboy boots, garish nails, and curls (with so much hairspray they could serve as doorstops), Keough epitomizes a country-girl vixen. A far cry from the chic call girl she plays in The Girlfriend Experience—all pencil skirts, expensive haircuts, and designer pumps—this Keogh, as the Logans' sister Mellie, is the stuff of farm-boy dreams. But she still brings the same street smarts to her brothers’ master scheme, whether calmly painting cockroaches with colored nail polish (you'll see what I mean) or driving a getaway car. Honestly, I wanted more screen time for the potato-chip crunching Mellie, and I can’t wait to see what Keogh does next.
A Bomb Made Out of Gummy Bears
As a sarcastic explosives expert named Joe Bang (what else?), Craig is a jailbird with a platinum-blonde buzz cut—looking more like a Bond villain than than suave Bond himself. When the Logan brothers visit him in the slammer and tell him of their scheme, at first he is incredulous. “I am IN-CAR-CER-ATED,” he spells out for them, only to discover that their crazy plan incudes springing him from jail for one afternoon—just for the heist—then bringing him back before his absence is noticed. Reluctantly he goes along (for a piece of the take, of course). And when he uses gummy bears, bleach pens, and fake salt as his bomb ingredients, this time it’s the Logan brothers’ turn to look incredulous. “What,” he teases them. ”You thought I was gonna use a stick of dynamite or something?”
Channing Tatum and Adam Driver's Bromance
The main instigator of the film’s central heist, Tatum is Jimmy Logan, a divorced, unemployed, ex-high-school jock whose glory days are behind him and whose dreams of going pro were shattered along with his blown-out knee. While no rocket scientist, he does have enough of a brain to come up with a robbery plan that works, and he’s got a big heart to match it. He and Driver have a goofy, brotherly charisma that is fun to watch, whether they’re standing up for each other or arguing.
Seth MacFarlane's Mustache
It takes a minute to recognize a mustachioed MacFarlane as the brash, British sports car magnate Max who swaggers into the Duct Tape bar and proceeds to verbally abuse Clyde. But he expertly plays a narcissistic bully who brags about his 1.2 million social media followers and picks a fight with Tatum and Driver—who calmly throws a flaming brick at his expensive car and walks away.
Farrah Mackenzie as an Adorable Pageant Girl
Meet Jimmy and Bobbi Jo’s elementary-school-aged daughter Sadie, a perennial child beauty pageant contestant, reminiscent of Little Miss Sunshine. When trying out for Little Miss West Virginia, she abandons her favorite Rihanna song and instead sings John Denver’s “Country Roads” for her dad, who slips in the back to see her performance just in the nick of time. Aw shucks!
Everyone Else in the Cast
This ensemble piece is rounded out by an awesome cast, including Katherine Waterston as a mobile unit nurse who flirts with Jimmy; Hilary Swank, as a take-no-bull FBI agent investigating the heist; Katie Holmes as Jimmy’s ex-wife Bobbi Jo; Sebastian Stan as cocky up-and-coming race car driver; Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson as Joe Bang’s redneck brothers; and Dwight Yoakum as a corrupt prison warden.