Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Steven Soderbergh made his name with the wonderful “Sex Lies and Videotape”, but doubtless made considerably more money from the slick heist movie “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels. Here he returns to the heist format, but in a very different setting and a far less stellar cast. We are no longer in the glittering lights of Las Vegas but in rural West Virginia. Here Jimmy Logan (played by Channing Tatum) and his brother Clyde (Adam Driver) eke out an existence in low-paid work in a small town. When Jimmy is made redundant from his tunnelling job and needs money quickly to hire a lawyer to help him with a custody dispute over his young daughter Sadie, he comes up with a scheme to rob the cash-rich vault of the nearby Nascar racing track where he has been working. To access the safe they need the skills of Joe Bang (played by Daniel Craig), who is currently incarcerated in the local prison, who brings into the gang his redneck brothers, who are no criminal masterminds.
The film is cleverly directed, unfolding with some style and taking the trouble to build up the backstory of its characters carefully. There is plenty of humour, with Daniel Craig excellent as the spiky haired explosives expert, sporting a plausible southern drawl. The scene where he explains the chemistry behind his device to the two brothers had the cinema audience laughing out loud. Soderbergh cannot resist making the plot a touch too clever for its own good, especially at the end, but it is an amiable movie that carries you along with it, and is enjoyable fun.