Lucky Day feels like a direct-to-video movie from the mid-’90s—one that came on the heels of Pulp Fiction that turned its focus on the low-life gangsters of the world doing bad and violent things for the fun of it. It’s fitting, then, that Lucky Day is written and directed by Roger Avary, who had a hand in Pulp Fiction and is now making a movie that feels like it missed the point. And it’s out in 2019, not back when in the day when this kind of mess of a movie might at least be able to explain itself away as “kinda like that one Tarantino movie.”
Taking place over the course of a single (“lucky”), the film feels more like a series of loosely connected scenes than a cohesive story. Red (Luke Bracey) has been released from a two-year prison sentence, and gets to go home to his wife, Chloe (Nina Dobrev), and daughter, Beatrice (Ella Ryan Quinn). Meanwhile, Luc (Crispin Glover) has arrived in America and is looking for Red—something happened between the two in the past and he wants revenge. Chloe’s an artist and her show is tonight. Everything is happening! None of it matters!
We’re introduced to more caricatures throughout, like an overzealous parole officer (Clifton Collins Jr.) and a creepy art dealer (David Hewlett), but most of the film focuses on the aforementioned characters as they go about their day, all leading to an explosive finale that is violent but somehow still dull. Every scene involving Luc is violent and deliberately offensive for the sake of “comedy.” It gets dull quickly.
At least Glover’s performance has energy and a camp factor to it. That’s more than can be said for most of the other actors, who look uninterested and a touch lost, as if they realized what kind of production they’re in. Dobrev puts on a French accent but does nothing else of consequence, Bracey is a bore as the de facto lead, and nobody else is worth mentioning, honestly. They’d probably rather their names avoid association with this movie.
There’s nothing to Lucky Day, which is the biggest problem it has. Its characters are all paper-thin and it there isn’t a point to anything that happens. In the end, there’s a reversal of fortune that feels like a deliberate middle finger to anyone who dares criticize lackluster art, so maybe that’s the purpose of the entire enterprise. Roger Avary wanted to tell all of his critics off—that his art would be better if they all died. Fabulous.
Lucky Day is a bad movie that hurts everyone involved in its production by putting it on their resumes. Its story is a jumbled mess that is more of a loose guideline than a coherent plot, its characters are one-note, paper-thin nothings, and it revels in violence and crudeness. It feels out of place in 2019 and is more the type of movie you would have seen going direct-to-VHS in 1996.
Conclusion: Lucky Day has no redeeming factors beyond, I suppose, its production value.
Recommendation: There’s no reason to watch Lucky Day.
- Rating - 2/102/10