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Geek Review: Luck (Apple TV+)

If you’re looking for a new animated film to spend the weekend with, then you’re in luck.

Apple TV+ and Skydance Animation have collaborated on their first film, Luck, and it takes viewers down under – no, not to Australia – but to the land of Luck where leprechauns run an operation, led by a dragon voiced by the legendary Jane Fonda. Together they decide who gets blessed with good luck or cursed with bad luck, of which protagonist Sam Greenfield (Eva Noblezada) has an abundance of.

The unluckiest girl in the world who has ‘aged out’ of the foster care system and is thrown into the world of adulthood at the tender age of 18, Sam only ever experiences bad luck. Even her discovery of the never-before-seen Land of Luck is a consequence of an unfortunate encounter with a black cat named Bob (Simon Pegg). There, she tries to gather some luck, not for herself, but her child-friend Hazel (Adelynn Spoon) who serves as the protagonist’s main motivation, although we don’t see her much. Well, except in the first few and then the final few minutes of the film.

luck

The first half of the movie sets Sam on a good foot to evoke empathy from viewers. In addition to not getting adopted during her years in foster care, she can’t seem to get anything right, from accidentally locking herself in the bathroom to burning her toast for breakfast. More than just simple comedy, these moments lend a human and relatable touch to her character.

Lasting an hour and 37 minutes, Luck is an easy watch that doesn’t use a complicated story or squeeze too much into its short runtime. The story is direct, simple and comical and is accompanied by colourful visuals. Since a large chunk of Luck is situated in, well, the Land of Luck, the story focuses on the mayhem Sam and Bob get into in their attempts to get luck and then eventually (no spoilers here) save luck and the human world.

The hidden message behind Luck, however, isn’t as simple as it seems. In fact, there are more layers to Luck than meets the eye. Luck’s big idea is the concept of a forever family – something that has not been explored in children’s animated films.

luck

Where most films like Encanto, Finding Nemo and Turning Red tell lessons on the family we do have, Luck shows that we can make a family of our own. Whilst not bonded by blood, forever family find each other and then remain together out of mutual love, care and concern for each other. Whilst this is a lesson that is perhaps too complicated for young children to grasp, it is something that adult viewers can understand easily. This makes Luck an enjoyable watch not just for kids, but for the adults looking for an easy watch or accompanying the younger ones on a lazy afternoon as well.

As a first-time voice actor, Noblezada does a pretty good job here. The Broadway actress is expressive, and viewers can hear it in her performance which, fortunately for us, also includes a little musical number that shows off the actress’ singing abilities. But with a cast so strong, Noblezada doesn’t fully steal the show.

luck

With comedian Pegg as a Black Cat named Bob, Fonda as Babe the Dragon who overlooks the land of Luck, Whoopie Golberg as The Captain of the Leprechauns, Colin O’Donoghue as Bob’s leprechaun friend Gerry and Flula Borg as Jeff the Unicorn, Luck is absolutely star-studded. Our personal favourite performance, though, comes from Pegg who voices Bob with a Scottish accent throughout the whole movie. Bob’s eventual friendship with Sam is also heartwarming to watch. 

Despite the unique lesson the movie has to offer, Luck isn’t entirely memorable, lacking any sort of strong emotional connection between the characters. Sure, Sam and Hazel have a unique friendship, but Hazel was barely in the movie. Sam and Bob’s eventual friendship was cute, but their friendship didn’t see any major tribulations or growth that would have viewers rooting for them. Even when the Land of Luck was in trouble and needed saving, it didn’t actually feel like there were going to be implications in the living human world. 

The premise of Luck – that good luck and bad luck are engineered (by leprechauns and a dragon no less) – is thin and doesn’t feel fulfilling, either. Even with a unique lesson in tow, the lack of emotional storytelling flattens the most imaginative qualities of the movie. As beautiful as the animation is (we’re talking Pixar and Ghibli beautiful), Luck still feels like a lesser iteration. 

For what it lacks in emotional storytelling, Luck makes up with beautiful animation. The design of the Land of Luck in particular is a beautiful mix of retrofuturism and fantasy. The character of Sam looks somewhat similar to the way Pixar designs their human characters too, with big eyes and exaggerated expressions to convey emotions like excitement, worry, and determination. 

Luck is an interesting addition to Apple TV+’s current library, especially since this is the streamer’s first foray into animation with Skydance. It’s not the most memorable or impactful animated film if you were to compare it to others in the same genre, but it is still an enjoyable watch nonetheless. If you’re looking for something different, then you’re definitely in luck – but don’t jinx us if you end up feeling nothing about it. 

Despite the beautiful animation and a unique lesson, Apple TV+ and Skydance’s latest animated film Luck jinxes itself with a story so unmemorable. 

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

Despite the beautiful animation and a unique lesson, Apple TV+ and Skydance’s latest animated film Luck jinxes itself with a story so unmemorable.

Overall
6.3/10
6.3/10
  • Story - 6/10
    6/10
  • Direction - 7/10
    7/10
  • Characterisation - 6/10
    6/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 6/10
    6/10


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