Two Heists, One Review
Glen and I are big movie buffs. It’s just our thing. Before we had Evelyn, we averaged a movie week. Since then our movie dates have slowed down a bit, but we still like to go when we get the chance. The past few months theatres have been dominated with action and adventure, which is typical for the summer. I guess studios figure that when the sun comes out our brains melt and we can only focus on things that boom. I love a good heist movie though, and there are two out right now that have a lot more quirk and a lot more heart then most action films.
There are a lot of things that I liked about Baby Driver. From the casting, to the soundtrack, to the action sequences, it’s just a generally well done heist movie. And the car chasing? Bananas! I want to find that stunt driver and pay them to take me around an obstacle course.
I think what I liked most about Baby Driver was the story though. Rather than jumping into a world of professional criminals who are planning an ultimate heist (as we’ve seen soooo many times before) this one focuses on a kid who is trying to make up for one wrong-place-wrong-time mistake. He is in so far over his head, surrounded by people with a death wish or a screw loose, and he plays it cool as a cucumber. Until he meets the girl. She’s not quite a damsel in distress, but she’s close, so I can’t LOVE her character. Still, there is an innocence in the relationship that balances the madness surrounding the characters perfectly.
The acting was solid across the board. No award-winning performances or anything, but well presented none the less. Kevin Spacey, as always, just fit in his role as godfather-with-a-conscience. I also enjoyed Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx as criminals with varying sociopathic tendencies.
In short, Baby Driver is a great movie for audiences with different tastes because it strikes the perfect compromise. It has the heist and all the adrenaline-pumping action that comes with it, and the Romeo and Juliet-esque relationship so that you can get your “aww” on. It’s also a great choice if you’re just looking for a fun movie and want something a little different.
Logan Lucky is another heist movie that has a lot of heart. It’s more of a classic heist premise, except it involves a bunch of apparently simple-minded red necks rather than a band of sophisticated criminals.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this film has a definite “Ocean’s 11” feel. In fact, a throw-away line in the movie even called the heist “Ocean’s 7-11”. And it’s true. If you strip away the class, fancy clothes, and criminal shop talk from the Ocean series, you get Logan Lucky.
The story follows the Logan siblings in their bid break the “Logan hex”. In an attempt to change their family fortune they decide to rob a speedway. They build a crew of unruly and incarcerated ragamuffins, and put together a plan that can only be described as masterful sleight of hand.
The audience is asked to suspend belief quite a bit – you’re telling me there are no cameras around a vault with that much security??? The film layers on the MMMMMURICA thicker than buttercream. And there are some random-ass casting choices for bit roles – Dwight Yoakam and Hilary Swank? What?? Collectively it all seems to work together though.
It’s like the film itself gets you to underestimate it by lulling you into dismissiveness. Then suddenly you find yourself rooting for this band of wayward Robin Hoods and getting excited for the big reveal. Even now I find myself questioning if they were really that good or if they just got incredibly lucky.
Logan Lucky is a surprisingly good movie. Watch it when you’re looking for something with a little character and a great cast. There’s also very little violence (only two short scenes) and the language is decent so families with older kids can enjoy it too.