Somewhat surprisingly, it’s been a very amazing summer at the movies.It’s sufficient togive those people who worry that the multiplex has ceded some of its ethnic centrality to the HDTV in your living space hope that the movies might once more become the middle of passionate debates and arguments.
A bunch of the summer’s best movies tell the sorts of stories which work when restricted to 120 minutes or less, but might feel pressured or clunky or stretched when they were expanded to occupy an whole season of tv. It’s easy to identify the places where they might have been needlessly blown out to fill a weekend’s worth of streaming.
Nevertheless, it’s the end of Logan Lucky which best illustrates how far more successful this particular story is as a film than it could have been as a TV show — and just how much more successful certain kinds of stories are as movies than they’d function as TV shows.
To explain why, I’m likely to need to spoil every thing.
Logan Lucky, like its characters, smartly gets out while the getting is still good
As you’d expect in a heist film, the team piled off the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR race at a Charlotte, North Carolina succeeds in their task. A giant vault of money empties, heading back to their own West Virginia houses and carting it off. But after the gig is done along with Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) shows up just in time to catch his daughter’s functionality at a local beauty pageant, you might realize something: There is still a lot of movie left.
That is when, slightly awkwardly, transforms into analysis mode. By leaving it to authorities to find in the back of a stolen pickup, Jimmy having experienced a moment of chance, returns the money. Hilary Swank joins the film as an FBI agent who investigates the heist, trying to figure out how it happened — and also the way the sole reliable lead about the perpetrators involves a few men who were allegedly in prison while everything went down. (I won’t spoil how Jimmy understands those men out of and back into jail without anyone noticing.)
Swank plays with her representative as a driven woman — and her character is actually the only individual in the film who seems concerned with actually solving this crime. The money’s been returned, right? However, what she understands that others don’t is that the speedway does not really understand just how much money it lost in the vault heist, because its credit card system went down and so as to speed up transactions, it only started getting money without keeping very close path.
Eagle-eyed viewers will surely have accomplished by this stage that the film has perfectly accounted for one pair of cash-filled trash bags, which end up in the back of the pickup, but has lost track of some second pair of garbage bagsthat turn out to have been thrown out and buried in a landfill. Once the FBI falls the situation — and Jimmy understands the shore is clear — he goes and excavates them, and also the team supporting the heist enjoys a celebratory toast that is hard-earned .
They’re not expecting anyone to wreck their party, certainly not an FBI agent who has been waiting them for all to gather in exactly the exact same place. However, Swank’s agent will not allow there move a closed instance. She thinks she’ll stay a little while, she states, and the film cuts to the credits on a cliffhanger that is gleeful.
Sure, if there is ever a Logan Lucky two, the film will presumably have to fill in the details of Swank’s pursuit of the Logan family and partners. But contemplating Logan Lucky is a film unto itself, and not the planned launch of a franchise, but that this end is a huge bit of fun. Read it yet you need, particularly in light of the film’s notes about class and every bit of the US — public and private — exists to keep in the hands of the ruling class and funneling money from the hands of working people.
Swank’s character signifies the government coming to predict, even if our heroes seem to have gotten away with it. It won’t allow something even though obtained an insurance premiums.
Yet at exactly the exact same time, robbery is still illegal? Shouldn’t it take some level of punishment? That this elaborate, apparently victimless prosecution is that the one the government won’t let go will leave you wondering about if her quarry will be captured by Swank, or when all involved will eliminate it.
Switch Logan Lucky into a TV show, and it would all fall apart
In and of itself, a heist story could serve well as season-long yarn’s type which drives many of their shows on HBO or Netflix. You can imagine a piece of the puzzle snapping over the of the seasonthe heist unspooling over a few episodes, with the aftermath. As in the film, the rural setting could prove enough of a draw to liven up the heist film that is requisite plot factors. The FBI showing up in city would be the cliffhanger. Come back to season two.
But we could seem to Netflix’s recent crime play to understand how all of the space of some TV series robs a story like that of any momentum. Indeed, Ozark and Logan Lucky have a lot in common, from their rural settings to their own love of the procedure behind committing a crime.
However, Ozark spends a lot of time stretching out a story that very easily could have been collapsed into a two-hour film. The idea is that all of this extra time allows for improved character development, along with the series surely gives its (really great) actors plenty of substance to sink their teeth in to. The challenge is that it mainly results from the series playing the exact same group of storytelling loops out, over and over again. Ozark wants to be about how hard it is to break out of cycles of wrongdoing, but because it ought to stretch out this story to 10 hours, it becomes repetitive. From the time it reaches its cliffhanger, it seems like a show with nothing left to say.
Logan Lucky, in contrast, largely disproves the idea that good character development requires lots of time. It sketches via a small number of gestures or options or pieces of dialogue, economically, in characters fast. It knows that we understand people via their relationships then makes beautiful use of the fact, defining its characters by the people they spend some time with as other things and speak to.
A variant of Logan Lucky who had 10 hours to perform with wouldn’t just lose the inherent ambiguity of its cliffhanger ending (since we’d understand, on some level, that season two would be approximately Swank looking down the members of the heist team, as they all tried to remain one step ahead of her). It would also lose all of its economy, until they started to succumb to the droning sameness in favour of repetitive plot circles which could stunt tighter and tighter around the characters.
It’s telling, then, which Soderbergh’s most prominent job in TV — the two-season medical drama — has been deliberately structured to ensure its primary character was a location. The series could play host even if characters proved more significant than others, by focusing to a New York hospital. Sure, that intended The Knick occasionally followed a “medical instance of the week” structure, but The Knick always understood that TV isn’t one large story, but lots of smaller ones.
So, Logan Lucky isn’t just worth seeing because it shows how much tired film tropes could be spruced up through a change in putting. Additionally, it is worth seeing for a lesson about how a story like this, even if it appears to finish in a way that stands for continuation, is often better as it plays out in two hours and leaves you with something to ponder on the way home. Not every sort of story operates on TV.