The Reel Review
Sam Greenfield is the unluckiest person on the planet. When the unadopted 18-year-old ages out of her orphanage, she chases a lucky penny into the never-before-seen Land of Luck. There, she must work with its magical creatures to uncover a force even more powerful than luck itself, in this animated fantasy on AppleTV+.
Featuring a whopping $140 million budget and a big name cast that includes Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Simon Pegg and Lil Rel Howery, Luck stars relative newcomer Eva Noblezada as the voice of Sam. Visually, Luck is adequate enough, and Noblezada, who does a nice rendition of Madonna’s “Lucky Star,” is earnest as the relentlessly optimistic but chronically unlucky girl. Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2, The Suicide Squad) provides comic relief as Jeff, the German unicorn, as does Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), voicing the Scottish black cat, Bob.
The problem with Luck is its disappointingly weak screenplay from Kiel Murray (Cars, Cars 3). From its mystical Land of Luck and its theme that bad luck is needed to appreciate the good, it feels like a bad ripoff of 2015’s Inside Out, just without the Oscar winner’s cleverness, humor and heart. Luck strangely opts for a story that is both overly-simplistic, yet exhaustingly convoluted.
Young toddlers may enjoy Luck for its cute visuals, but almost no one else will. Somewhere in this tedious story is a nice message. Good luck finding it.
• Originally Paramount Pictures was going to release Luck, but when partner Skydance Animation hired disgraced former Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios COO John Lasseter as Head of Animation, Emma Thompson quit the film in protest and Paramount sold the film’s distribution rights to AppleTV+
• Luck originally was scheduled for a theatrical release in March 2021.
• Eva Noblezada’s feature film debut was the 2020 musical drama Yellow Rose, about an illegal Filipina immigrant trying to make it as a country singer in Texas.
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