Steven Soderbergh, the man behind the Oceans trilogy, Magic Mike films, and one of my personal favorites, “Out of Sight,” returns to the genre that has been his bread and butter; the light-hearted, slightly cerebral, slick heist films. Let’s be honest, he’s made heists look pretty cool numerous times on the screen (and easy to boot), and that’s part of the holdup here. There isn’t much going on that we haven’t seen before plenty of times. Criminals who have thought of every little detail, while the audience is just a little bit in the dark until the reveal at the end.

“Logan Lucky” is a typical West Virginia redneck larceny story, with not so typical characters. The Logan brothers, Jimmy and Clyde (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) put into play a scheme to rob the cash room of the Charlotte International Motor Speedway during a NASCAR race. They enlist the help of criminal Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his two nephews, Fish and Sam. Throw in the Logan sister, Mellie (Riley Keough) and you have your crew. In the periphery, Katie Holmes is Jimmy’s baby mama in a bit of a misguided parallel story line, although her performance is the best she’s done in quite some time.  

The acting is terrific, and the leads all seem to be enjoying themselves from start to finish, particularly Daniel Craig, who plays a hardened safe cracker with a good deal of prison clout. Driver is given the role of quirky and dry comic relief, and Tatum packs on a few pounds and shirks his usual charming good looks in exchange for a chance to play a flawed, yet likeable lead.

There is a lot of opportunity here for character development, with Dwight Yoakum, Seth McFarlane, Katherine Waterston and Hilary Swank standing out as well-played characters, but the film moves along too quickly, which is a double-edged sword. The heist is certainly the looming endgame, but Soderbergh likes to pace his films quickly, refusing to linger on any scene too long. This doesn’t allow us to get to know any of these characters quite well enough, and that’s a bit of a shame.

“Logan Lucky” was written by Rebecca Blunt — a possible pseudonym — with speculation by numerous sources that it might actually be Soderbergh or his wife, Jules Asner. As of now, there hasn’t been any credit taken, but this makes for an interesting sidebar trivia item, which is something consistent and admirable about the director.

He certainly knows how to make movies fun, and it shows on screen. This might be his greatest strength, and it redeems any lingering reservations about any redundancy in his style. Sure, you could probably line up his heist movies side by side and you would notice more than a few similarities, but there is a certain levity that jumps from the screen in his contributions to this genre. The actors seem to be caught up in the mirth as well, and that adds a certain intangible effect to his movies that make them enjoyable in the end.

In terms of the screenplay itself, there is a bit left to be desired. There’s no backstory, no motive for the heist in the first place, and nothing compelling to make us root for any of the characters to succeed beyond it being a bunch of rednecks knocking over NASCAR. The West Virginia redneck setting is simply a ruse to get the audience to forget that they’ve seen this all before — at least three times.

“Logan Lucky” gets points for execution and acting, but lacks originality. It’s like “West Side Story” doing “Romeo and Juliet.” It was a great film, clever change of setting, but ultimately a completely recycled story. If you can get past this little detail and just let the experience wash over you, I bet you might find this film pretty dadgum entertaining.