I know on my manifesto on movies in the About the Squid page, I mainly complain about movies which use too much CG while sacrificing the story. However, movies that don’t use any special effects can still suck too. All that needs to happen is that the story is either non-existent or just plain horrible, the characters are flat, and the acting forced and contrived. This is exactly what happened in The Lucky One, a film directed by Scott Hicks.
I saw the Lucky One unintentionally (because honestly, you could tell from the trailers that it was a piece of crap) and under very weird circumstances when I went to catch the midnight release of the Avengers. And since the Avengers compared to it like Disney Land compares to a nondescript van with candy written on the side, I only wrote a few sentences on this movie while reviewing the Avengers. Mainly because I thought giving it anymore attention would make my head implode. However, a couple of people thought I didn’t mock it enough apparently, so I decided to give it an appropriate bashing.
In The Lucky One, Logan (Zac Effron) is a marine in Iraq whose life is saved from finding a picture of a woman. Of course when he returns to the States, he has to find that woman, Beth (Taylor Schilling) and of course ends up screwing her (My question, what if the woman on the photo was completely ugly?).
The big challenge for me with this movie was taking Zac Effron seriously. because I have seen High School Musical several times (not out of choice mind you) when he was, what? 12? So from the beginning, I felt his performance wasn’t going to have much depth (you don’t have high expectations in a made for TV Disney film). It was even worse watching him thrust a woman clearly ten years older than him on screen. I acknowledge this would have probably been a a lot better had I never seen High School Musical, but I can’t unload my personal movie baggage. Unless I shoot myself, and trust me, after having to sit through this movie that is something I have considered.
However, even if I had never seen High School Musical, I still would have torn apart Zac Effron’s performance. There is a scene when he is trying to explain to Beth why he never told her why he was really there. He says, “Finding a photo like that in a war….It’s like finding an angel in hell.” The total bitch that I am, when I heard that line I couldn’t keep myself from laughing aloud. Zac Effron just couldn’t deliver it without sounding like a pubescent boy reading his angsty cutter poetry at his first open mic night. However I’d like to acknowledge that the utter failure of that moment has more to do with the atrocious writing than Effron. But he can’t act either way. Sorry man. Go back to singing and looking pretty. No. Don’t, because you can’t do that either.
My main issue with the movie however was the climax. During a vicious rainstorm, Beth’s belligerent ex-husband confronts her and scares their son who flees into the night and even though he is 8 and apparently a genius, he still thinks crossing a rickety bridge over a raging river is a good idea. Of course, the bridge collapses, and the ex-husband ends up dead. I don’t know if this is what happens in the Nicholas Sparks book, so I will blame the screenwriter. Could you not think of a better way for the lead characters to get around their conflict? I guess what happened was the movie makers realized they only had ten minutes left, so they said, “Oh, let’s just kill him off.” Still no excuse. And I hope you all know if you do that in life you’ll need a hell of a lawyer.
I hope I have now legitimately explained why I feel The Lucky One deserves a 1 out of 10 and just why this film never should have been made. It is so bad, that you could pull a Clockwork Orange and strap me down to a chair and pry my eyelids open and force aversion therapy on me by making me watch The Lucky One over and over and over. Damn it, why did I put that idea in your heads?