So many things about Logan Lucky are backwards, including the title. Yet in a subtextual manner, the backwards characters inhabit the cast. When the smartest character is a career criminal with a high school knowledge of chemistry, you know that the rubes on display can be easily manipulated.

The latest film from Steven Soderbergh delves into the mindset of West Virginia denizens in general and racecar enthusiasts in particular.

Prepare to delve into a caper movie that rivals Soderbergh’s own Oceans 11 (2001, itself a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film) in gimmicks and grins. In fact, one supporting character even refers to the crime as Oceans 7-11.

The Logan clan has a reputation for being unlucky. However, after the events in Logan Lucky, you might be inclined to believe that the family curse has been lifted.

The Logan siblings include Channing Tatum, the high school football star who blew his knee out, never went pro, and now works in construction; Adam Driver, who lost his lower right arm during back to back military assignments in Iraq; and sister Riley Keough, a local fashionista of nails and hairdos that works at the town’s beauty salon.

Tatum loses his job because he never revealed his leg injury, but that’s okay because he now has some devious ideas.

The job he was working on involved shoring up subterranean walls under a NASCAR speedway. Tatum knows how to access their underground airshaft system that shifts money from the multiple food and drink booths on the racetrack grounds to an underground vault. Driver is the wingman, and Daniel Craig (in definitely his wackiest movie role to date, complete with crew cut and goofy accent), currently incarcerated in prison, has the skills to penetrate the vault.

The robbery involves breaking Craig out of prison and then breaking him back in, as well as ripping off the speedway during one of the biggest grossing days of the summer.

Figuring in the rip-off are supporting players Katie Holmes (Tatum’s ex, now married to a car dealership owner with bratty blonde sons), Seth MacFarlane (almost unrecognizable in wig and English accent), Katherine Waterston, Sebastian Stan and Hilary Swank. Swank shows up late as the events fold as an FBI agent brought in to investigate the now successful robbery, and totally rules every scene in which she appears.

The clever part of Logan Lucky is how all the different characters somehow play intentional or unintentional roles in the robbery.

As far as movies go, Logan Lucky makes you smile enough to where you will be thinking about it long after it unwinds.

Logan Lucky unwinds wide this weekend.

AlsoOn

  • The Adventurers tracks a high stake robbery that involves an international investigator (Jean Reno) chasing a cream of the crop line-up of current Chinese actors including Andy Lau, Shu Qi, Zhang Jingchu and Tony Yang. Precious and ancient jewels are up for grabs to the highest bidder in a race across Europe. The narrative melds romance and action sequences that alternately remind the viewer of Mission: Impossible films and James Bond flicks. The whole affair is very similar to John Woo’s 1991 Once a Thief (Zong heng si hai). The Adventurers plays exclusively at the AMC Studio 30.
  • In This Corner of the World tells an emotionally resonate story of wartime loyalty set in Hiroshima, Japan in 1944. More dramatic than most Japanese magna films the story evokes equal parts adversity in wartime and reconciliation with the aftermath of conflict. Director Sunao Katabuchi was a protégé of Hayao Miyazaki. In This Corner of the World unreels exclusively at the Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park.