2017 Certificate: 12

Synopsis

It's Ocean's Eleven hillbilly style when a pair of redneck war veteran brothers  (Adam Driver and Channing Tatum) spring  Daniel Craig's Joe Bang - a career crimmo sporting a daring blonde crop - to help them pull of a heist during the Coca Cola 600 Race in North Carolina. Witty and ingenious, it's a welcome return for director Steven Soderbergh and a chance for Craig to flex his comedy muscles after the strait (dinner) jacket of 007.

Director

  • Steven Soderbergh

Cast

  • Adam Driver

  • Daniel Craig Daniel Craig

  • Channing Tatum

  • Katherine Waterston

  • Sebastian Stan

  • Riley Keough

  • Seth MacFarlane

Review

Disabled Iraqi war veteran Clyde Logan (Driver) chances his remaining arm on a screwball speedway track heist dreamed up by his down-on-his luck brother ​Jimmy (Tatum).

Jimmy - a divorced dad with a cutesy daughter - has just been fired from a bulldozer-driving job (the HR department spotted he had a limp) mending sinkholes at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway.

However, he has already clocked that the underground workings abut a series of tunnels where all the race day money is siphoned through a network of pneumatic tubes into a steel bank vault...and the seismic sensor alarm has been turned off.

It looks a cinch...but Clyde and Jimmy require the services of an expert to divert the cash-flow and decide to recruit veteran criminal and explosives expert Joe Bang (Craig). The only trouble is he's incarcerated in the local penitentiary.

Steven Soderbergh - directing his first film in four years since Behind The Candelabra - is a steady hand when it comes to these convoluted crime capers and this pleasingly unspools to reveal a plot within a plot.

A rogues gallery of supporting players - from Joe's morally-adjusted redneck brothers to the Logan boys' Daisy Duke-style sister (Keough) - flesh out the engaging narrative while the laconic Logan and beefsteak Jimmy have a winning chemistry.

The one duff note is a one-note Seth MacFarlane as a cliched British motor-racing bore who runs foul of the brothers when he gets lippy at Clyde's bar.

In the main, it's an (Ocean) breeze with Soderbergh never condescending the dirt-poor characters and the actual heist totally compelling in its ingenuity.

Tim Evans