First Hit: Funny at times but lacked intrigue and substance.
Director Steven Soderbergh had previously indicated he’d quit making films. I guess it wasn't true. Here he made a film that could be compared with his other action crime films, Oceans 11 through 13, although dumbed down. You'd think think he had the formula down, but he must not have, this one didn't work.
Maybe the mistake was thinking that making the same kind of robbery/crime film with people that aren’t very bright would be interesting or compelling. Unfortunately, it wasn't as it because the storyline didn't translate out of Las Vegas at all. Although he tried to reduce the complexity of the crime and dumb things down because of the characters, it didn’t work because the actual details to pull off this crime and the reveal at the end, weren’t believable.
Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) is a doting and wonderful father to Sadie (Farrah Mckenzie). His former wife, Bobbie Jo Chapman (Katie Holmes), is antagonistic towards him but she does see his love for their daughter. He gets fired from his job, through no real fault of his own, because of a old football injury. He does appear to have some smarts about him.
His brother Clyde (Adam Driver) is slow and not very bright. He lost his arm in the Iraq war and has a prosthetic that is somewhat useless to him as a bartender in a local dive. Jimmy also has a sister Mellie (Riley Keogh) who runs a small town beauty salon and knows a hell of a lot about cars.
The location is significant because it is near the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Logan clan needs money, so the brothers decide to rob the speedway. Hatching a plan, they decide they need to blow up a safe and decide to hire an incarcerated Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), who is an expert at blowing up safes. Upon hearing the plan, Joe tells Jimmy and Clyde that he'll need his slow hick brothers Fish (Jack Quaid) and Sam (Brian Gleeson) to help him. He wants them to get the explosives and to break the raceway’s computer payment system. The brothers quote was priceless: “I knows all about them twitters and such”, this gives the audience an idea of their ilk.
This team does come up with an ingenious plan to get Joe out of prison without the prison knowing, rob the raceway, and take the heat off them after the robbery. However, the ending leaves a question as to whether they will get away with it as Special Agent Sarah Grayson (Hilary Swank), who seems to be the smartest person in the film, bellies up to the bar in the end and starts talking with Clyde.
Tatum was good, but I didn’t buy his perceived dumbness nor his smartness, and maybe that was the point. Driver was OK as a slow dedicated brother. He almost came across at too dumb. Keogh was fantastic as the smart as a whip sister that knew how to control what she needed to control. Mckenzie was excellent as Tatum’s and Holmes’ daughter. She was very engaging to watch. Holmes was OK as mother and former wife. Craig was odd in this role. There was something that didn’t work for me as him being a hick. However, he did create an over the top character. Quaid and Gleeson were very good in their dumb brother roles and it appears they’ve picked up the acting chops of their parents. Rebecca Blunt wrote the screenplay. What didn’t work was not making the characters believable. Their actions and a lack of character depth created too many questions about the story. Soderbergh made some of the comedy work, but the weakness, for me, lay in the believability of the characters and congruency of their actions.
Overall: This film is funny at times, but fails where it really needs to be strong, pulling plausibility out of characters and their actions.