This is another terrific film by one of the best Directors of our generation, Steven Soderbergh (“Sex, Lies and Videotape” – 1989, “Erin Brockovich” – 2000, and “Traffic” – 2000). It’s a very funny and suspenseful heist film that is my third favorite summer movie, ranking just a “fender” behind “Wonder Woman” and “Baby Driver.” I consider it a MUST SEE!
According to legend, the Logan family is cursed. Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) was once a talented high school football star, but a severe knee injury wrecked this dream. He was eking out a living as a coal miner in the poor part of West Virginia, but has just gotten fired because his limping made him an insurance liability. He is very close to his younger brother, Clyde (Adam Driver), who lost most of his left arm in a war injury. Clyde now tends bar at a nearby undistinguished watering hole. Jimmy is also very involved with his approximately-ten-year-old daughter, Sadie (Farrah MacKenzie), who lives with his ex-wife, Bobbie (Katie Holmes). She left him due to his poor prospects, and remarried a rich Ford dealer. Only Jimmy’s fast-car-loving kid sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), has escaped the curse. (Riley is Elvis’ very sexy granddaughter!)
While he was still working at the coal mine, Jimmy realizes that the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which stores huge amounts of cash in an underground vault, is vulnerable to a robbery due to a sink-hole problem. He develops a complicated plan to steal the money, but he needs help from his siblings and three others, including Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), an incarcerated explosive maven, and his two dead-beat brothers, one of whom is purported to be a computer expert. In addition to stealing the money, Jimmy also has another plan to break Joe out of jail to assist with the robbery and then return him, without anyone realizing that he was AWOL for a few hours. (Jimmy would make Michael Scofield of “Prison Break” very proud!) Jimmy doesn’t seem like a genius, but, rather, a desperate man trying to turn his dead-end life around. The Logans, however, are very likable, and you will be rooting for them.
This well-written and humorous screenplay is credited to Rebecca Blunt, but rumor has it (as Adele would say) that it was written by Soderbergh’s wife (Jules Asner), who partially based the story on Tatum’s life. (Tatum was a high school quarterback living in poor sections of the south who hurt his knee playing football. He then turned to modeling, which eventually led him to be the Hollywood sex symbol that he is today! Tatum, however, is not just a hulk. He is a fine actor who demonstrates his considerable talent in the film.) Daniel Craig’s Joe Bang is on the other end of the universe from James Bond. He is terrific and very funny, too.
It’s a “joy-ride,” and I advise you to push the “pedal-to-the-metal” and see it ASAP!