Entertainment

Movie review: The Lucky One

Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron in a scene from the movie The Lucky One.
Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron in a scene from the movie The Lucky One. Contributed - Alan Markfield, The PR Company

LIKE a tried and tested chocolate cake recipe, prolific romance author Nicholas Sparks has his weepie formula refined. It has almost become a genre of its own.

In The Lucky One the cast may have changed, the storyline slightly different but its essence is the same.

Local guide to the movies

Here we have another strong and stoic loner (Zac Efron), another troubled Southern Belle (Taylor Schilling), a large serving of melodrama and throw in a third-act death and viola, serve with a side of tissues.

Efron stars as US Marine Logan who escapes death whilst in Iraq, putting his survival down to his lucky charm, a photo of a mysterious unknown beauty.

Upon his return to the States he vows to track down the stranger and thank her for saving his life.

It is supposed to be the role Efron proves once and for all that his High School Musical days are behind him and he is a serious actor who isn't all sweetness and boyish charms.

He's even got a new bulked up body and stubble to prove it.

Unfortunately Efron takes the strong, stoic solider stereotype far too literally and overacts the role within every inch of its life.

Or should that be under acts since he is as wooden as the trees he stands amongst.

There is no emotion behind his beautifully long eye lashed eyes nor expression on his chiseled face.

There is a hint of so much more in Logan's character but with Efron at the helms that is all it is.

In saying that, when he is concentrating on the melancholy loverboy arch of the film he is far more convincing, you might not be able to quite gage the anguish he feels as a returned solider but you can sense the affection his character has for the girl he loves.

And he and Schilling have real chemistry.

When they are gazing into each other's eyes or caressing each other's bodies you forget the film's flaws and can't help be swept up in the romance of it all.

Blythe Danner as the feisty grandmother is superb and sparkles with zest whenever she is on screen and provides some light hearted fun.

Cinematically it is a gorgeous looking film.

Director Scott Hicks is an artist as he embraces the saccharine tone and delights in small beautiful moments, painting the screen in soft-focus montages and dabbled sunlight.

As a romance the film works but as serious post-war drama it falls over with faded clichés that not even Efron's ripping muscles can save.

 

The Lucky One

  • Stars: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner
  • Director: Scott Hicks
  • Rated: M
  • Verdict: Three stars

Topics:  film movie movie review zac efron



LETTER: MP says Fed Govt to blame for poor NBN rollout

Leanne Donaldson says she's appalled but not surprised by the chaotic rollout of the NBN.

Sad outcome for vital nation-building projects of our generation

The recording we thought was lost forever

RARE FIND: A professional photograph of Australian opera singer Molly de Gunst.

Association calls for museum to honour beloved singer

OPINION: A fine line in allowing euthanasia

A "proud” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says terminally ill Victorians are closer to getting the dignity they deserve.

Guidelines around euthanasia need to be exceptionally tight

Local Partners

Stan Lee reveals the "greatest super hero of all"

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Barry Du Bois' heartbreaking cancer revelation

TV personality Barry Du Bois made an emotional announcement on last night’s The Living Room, revealing his new cancer diagnosis. Picture Chris Pavlich

Barry Du Bois spoke about what was in store for him

Luke McGregor on tackling his fears in Rosehaven

Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor in a scene from season two of Rosehaven.

Comedian's on-screen character has to go home to make it.

It's a Thor thing: Why Ragnarok is something to marvel at

FRIENDS FROM WORK: Avengers Thor and The Hulk face off in Thor: Ragnarok.

It was time to put new life into the character, star says.

Tom Hanks shows his writing skills with new book

Tom Hanks has released a collection of short stories, Uncommon Type: Some Stories.

"It turns out that Tom Hanks is also a wise and hilarious writer"

Tarantino on Harvey Weinstein: ‘I knew enough to do more’

Tarantino says he knew about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women

Packer opens up on ‘Mariah mistake’

James Packer says his romance with Mariah Carey was a mistake for both of them. Picture: Getty

James Packer has broken his silence on his ill-fated engagement