The Lucky One (2012) – Review

2 Stars

The Lucky Ones is a story saddled with such improbabilities that things go off the rails early on and the film is never able to recover. Zac Efron is solid if unspectacular in his continuing bid for romantic leading man status. This his second outing in the genre after the woefully inept Charlie St. Cloud. Based on the book from celebrated author Nicolas Sparks, The Lucky Ones is melodrama propped up by professional craftsmanship. As the film opens we meet Logan (Efron), a solider in Iraq who survives a deadly blast by insurgents. He would have been a dead man if not for a wallet-sized photo gleaming in the dirt a few yards away from where he was standing. This bit of good fortune is enough for Logan to believe the female in the picture is his guardian angel.

Logan is discharged from the service and he returns home to live with his sister and her family. Things don’t go well, with Logan suffering with effects of PTSD even going so far as to put his young nephew in a choke-hold when he startles him awake one morning. Realizing something is amiss, Logan begins to track down the girl from the picture he found. This takes him from Colorado to a small bayou town in Louisiana, a journey that is accomplished by foot if Logan is to be believed. When he shows up at the dog kennel she and her grandmother run, does he tell this girl who he is? No, He agrees to work at the shelter for a low wage and housing. Now after traveling nearly 1500 miles on foot wouldn’t you think that the first bit of business would be to identify why you’ve made the trip? Well, that’s because if Logan had told Beth at the beginning then we wouldn’t have a movie or be treated to the manipulative plot threads that dangle ever so loosely.

Zac Efron is a likable actor when given appealing material. His film career has progressed nicely from Disney teen heart-throb into a leading man, when he finds the right script/role Efron will be a big star. Unfortunately this isn’t the film that will break him into the ranks of super-star.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner

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