The Lucky One Reviews
Good movie! Zac Efron does a decent job playing the character of Logan, however, he just can't pull off the tough-guy look that is essential in this film. He will always be remembered as Troy Bolton from "High School Musical". In any case, this is a tear-jerking, cheesy movie that most teenage girls would enjoy. It's not terrible, yet nothing special.
Logan is a marine serving in Iraq. While there, he finds a photo of a girl with "keep safe" written on the back. He is admiring it when his unit is attacked. He survives and credits the photo for saving him. He tries to find the owner but can't, assuming he was killed. When he goes back to the States, he finds it difficult to adjust and is still haunted by what happened. Analyzing the photo, he finds in the background a landmark that tells him she is in Louisiana. He then goes there and finds her. He learns her name is Beth. He tries to tell her what happened but can't get the words out. She assumes he's there to apply for the job they advertised looking for someone to help at her family's business, a dog kennel. He says yes but at first she gets an uneasy feeling from him but her grandmother decides to give him a chance. It isn't long that he makes a connection with her son. He then discovers that it was her brother who had the picture only he doesn't remember him. He sees that her brother's death has a profound effect on her. Eventually they get close which makes her grandmother happy but not her ex who is a deputy sheriff who's always threatening to take their son away from her.
The story follows U.S. Marine sergeant Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) who was serving his country overseas when he happened across a discarded photo of a beautiful woman. An inscription on the back read "Keep Safe," yet the photo revealed no clues about either the subject or her whereabouts. Upon returning home to civilian life, Logan conducts his own research and discovers that the woman's name is Beth (Taylor Schilling) and that she cares for dogs at a small-town kennel. Before long, Logan manages to get a job at the kennel, and sets his sights on winning Beth's heart. But it won't be easy because Beth's past experiences have made her wary of relationships. Meanwhile, as Logan works to earn Beth's trust, a dark secret from her past threatens to derail his hope for a happy future together.
The plot was definitely and almost completely what I expected it to be, a predictable romance where everything you guess will happen ends up being correct. There were no surprises, there were no new formulas being tried, there was just an empty feeling in my stomach that I had just paid money for a movie that I have seen a thousand times before. The characters are melodramatic dorks who spend half the time just trying to appeal to the female audience, while leaving the men of the audience asleep and waiting for their money on their wives and girlfriends to be put to good use. This movie almost made me cry with how many bad clichÃ (C)s they have in it, and itâ(TM)s almost laughable looking and how desperate they are for money that they made a film this pathetic. If you are looking for a great romance, I suggest you look elsewhere.
The cast has a good group of actors, but they are destroyed by a bad script and boring characters. Zac Efron has had some decent performances in his career and some very bad ones, this movie his performance was about on the middle of that line since his boring character with no true background other than he is a nice fella, and it hurt Efrons performance. Taylor Shilling has not really been in any films that are memorable, and here she shows her potential but her incredibly clichÃ (C) character drags her down, just like Zac Efron. The rest of the cast was decent but like I mentioned before with detail, these characters destroyed the ensembles chances at being truly recognized.
The Lucky One didn't bring anything new to the table, so it failed to entertain me and that is the main thing that film should do. The cast was decent but they were ruined by the script that could've have been saved if they had tweaked it a lot, or at least gave it some interesting characters. Zac Efron is one of the main reasons people will go see this, an honestly his career may be getting bigger but he needs to star in some better movies (with the exception of me and Orson Welles). When watching this movie, I could have left for like 20 minutes and still would have been able to understand everything, and it is ad when I a movie am that slow and uneventful. Itâ(TM)s a very boring movie, and I could have cared less what was going on during it.
To go ahead and get one of the biggest problems out of the way, oh boy, this is a messily paced film if there ever was one, being considerably uneven in its structure, which ranges from slam-banged in a fashion that I will try to explain later, to considerably bloated in a fashion that may not be too tremendously serious, or at least not when you compare the bloating to the hurrying, but is still fairly serious, nonetheless, dragging things out many a crowbarred scene of filler or excess material that slows down momentum, eventually into repetition, then into monotony. The monotony that this film slips into, thanks to repetitious bloating, is rarely, if ever all-out tedious, but borders enough on tedium to really knock you out of things, though not as much as the other end of this film's jarring pacing transitions: hurrying. Hey, I must admit, this film's opening sequence, which features Zac Efron's Logan Thibault character seeing his last days on his third tour in Iraq before returning home with PTSD, is relatively decent, though it would have been better if it wasn't so laughably slam-banged, which is what you can say about oh so many other points in this film, because when this film is not gorging itself on blandly excessive material or filler, it's ever so incompetently dashing along in a way that you really do have to see to believe. The disconcerting hurrying of this film certainly exacerbates the sting of the monotony within Scott Hicks' storytelling, but it also has a tendency to do something that's even worse for a character drama: thin out development, whose depth shortcomings disconnect from the characters and story that films of this type tend to rely upon intensely. It's hard something fierce to fully bond with the leads, who are too undercooked to be all that engaging, thus the final product falls flat as a character piece, much like most every other Nicholas Sparks film, but where most of this film's predecessors featured acting that was relatively strong enough to earn some degree of your investment, this film features generally mediocre acting, whose lowest note is someone I would actually expect better from. I wouldn't say that Zac Efron has the potential to be an awesome actor, but he is better than plenty of people give him credit for, having proven his skill in plenty of films that he should know better than to be attached to, with this film being ever so surprisingly an exception, for although Efron isn't truly terrible, he's wooden, with a dry presence and underwhelming emotional range that leave him to fall flat as the lead. If Efron's shortcomings hurt the selling of nothing else, its his and Taylor Schilling's chemistry, which is so key in a film of this type, but doesn't really gel, thanks to onscreen hiccups and, of course, writing hiccups, or at least mere cheesiness.
Now, you'd be hard pressed to find an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks film that isn't cheesy, but that doesn't make cheesiness in these films any less bothersome, as this film further proves with its soundtrack, alone, turning in many an indie diddy that is not simply painfully corny, but more of a challenge to listen to than this film's dialogue, which is saying something, for although Will Fetters' interpretation of Nick Sparks' dialogue tastes stands to be worse, low notes in dialogue range from mediocre to near-laughable, calling your attention more toward the cheesiest writing aspect to this film: histrionics. This writing still isn't quite soap opera-grade with its melodrama, but we are arguably looking at some of your more over-the-top Sparksisms with this "effort" (Oh man, may I be struck down if Zac Efron's Logan Thibault character doesn't seriously deliver a big twist speech to Taylor Schilling's Beth Green character with his back turned, staring off into the night), which even goes so far as to thin out character layers to a considerable point that robs characterization of much genuineness, particularly when it comes to Jay R. Ferguson's Keith Clayton character, who is borderline, if not decidedly cartoonish as the unsubtly handled antagonist or, if you will, component to the laughable dramatic reinforcements that this film tries way too desperately to establish. Tonal unevenness is certainly less recurring and, of course, intense as unevenness in pacing, but make no mistake, this film will occasionally take an awkward atomspheric turn out of relative lightness into a kind of intensity that may be mighty ineffective, but still makes its share of inorganic stands, which would have stood a chance of working if its being way too blasted forced, because if there is a conflict to be found in this film, it's very much manufactured, defying realism, if not blowing certain very light, if at all dramatic aspects quite a ways out of proportions, until what you end up with are grating theatrics that try to ignite intrigue, but to no avail. Dramatically, this film is a total mess, struggling so hard to keep juice up that it ends up crafting a considerably farfetched story that, I must admit, almost needs manufactured conflicts, because when this film isn't melodramatizing everything, well, then it's doing nothing at all. I'm not gonna lie, there are a few beats to the this "story" concept that hold some degree of potential, enough so for the film to have its ambitious moments that deliver a small drop of good old-fashioned charm of desperation, but on the whole, this plot is, not necessarily thin, but translucent, meandering along aimlessly, with little in the way of direction, even less in the way of intrigue and very much in the way of genericism. Films with plots this thin and trite tend to have the "good fortune", if you will, of being too bland to be bad, but in this case, we're looking at a film that ostensibly tries, and that only emphasizes the final product's shortcomings, of which, there are oh so many. If the film isn't lamely mediocre, it's frustratingly incompetent, no matter how much it drenches itself in obnoxious overambition, and such an unflattering formula nudges the film outside of the middling realm of mediocrity and right into the bleak waters of poorness, for although this film borders on merely forgettable, when it's all said and done, its impressions are primarily negative ones that you just can't scrub out, thus making for a final product that may be bad by a little more than a hair, but is pretty bad, nonetheless.
Overall, there are moments of slightly charming ambition to this project, but on the whole, it's a mess that often bloats itself out with repetition and excess material when it's not jarringly its way into exhausting rushing that thins out exposition and joins the mediocre or, in the case of leading man Zac Efron, just plain weak acting, and undercooked characterization in distancing you from the characters, whose underwhelmingness in turn joins the laughably histrionic, when not boringly thin, and consistently trite "plot" in crafting the considerable blandness that is intensely stressed enough by incompetence and overambition to make "The Lucky One" a serious misfire that is sometimes simply mediocre, but generally too bad to be even mildly worthy of your time.
1.75/5 - Poor
The Lucky One is directed by Scott Hicks and it is an adaptation of the 2008 novel of the same name, by Nicholas Sparks... Now, Sparks is well known to people who watch these movies, but not a big name for me, and I have to say that I'll be sure from now on to stay away from any movie connected to his name! Everything in this movie felt fake - for some reason not one second I could be drawn in the story and say - "Oh... this remind me of..." or "This is possible...". My reaction was always "C'mon... I had enough of this b..s..." or around those lines. I had a chance believing more an old worn out Thai "working girl" that I am the love of her life than in anything said in this screenplay.
Stars Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, and Blythe Danner - well, what to say there... Zac had at least some kind of performance with his dumb half stoned soldier look and "pause" and "play" acting, others should go back to acting schools (Taylor Schilling could get few tips from the "old working girl").
Do not waste a minute on this one... and I bet my RT friend had few beers and the hottest looking chick next to him in the cinema before watching (or whatever he was doing in the dark corner) and recommending this syrupy nonsense.
In this PG-13-rated romantic drama, a U.S. Marine sergeant (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq to search out the woman (Schilling) whose picture kept him alive through the fighting.
Efron has charisma. Charisma, however, doesn't always translate to acting greatness. He stands, delivers his lines, and looks pretty under Scott Hicks's very capable direction. Regardless, newcomer Schilling is the movie's true standout. Hopefully, John Q. Moviegoer will be seeing a lot more from her in the future, albeit not in movies that are so cloying. As for the rest, Bythe Danner hands out One-to-Grow-Ons as the wise and wisecracking grandmother, Jay R. Ferguson sneers his way through his role as the heavy (a mustache-twirling cop without a mustache) and the audience counts itself lucky to walk away with their sanity intact.
Bottom line: Luck of the drool.