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Movie Reviews

Luck ★★★



Director: Peggy Holmes

Cast: Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Fonda

Release: August 5th 2022

Apple TV has had quite a stellar year in its TV and Film output, including the Indie gem Cha Cha Real Smooth and Best Picture winner Coda. The latest film from the studio is Skydance Animation’s Luck, marking the debut of the company founded in 2017. Luck centres on Sam, a down-on-her-luck woman who wants to care for her close friend Hazel who is seeking a foster family. Sam stumbles upon a magical world of Luck that she thinks will be able to help Hazel have an opportunity in life. Luck brings several marquee names with a voice cast, including Simon Pegg, Whoopi Goldberg and Jane Fonda, produced by Pixar stalwart John Lassetter, who has taken on a senior position at the studio. 

The film’s premise is quite novel, and the mystical, mythological elements feel comparable to Pixar’s Onward with Leprechauns, Dragons, Trolls and Unicorns all featured in various ventures. The concept of Luck being operated in a magical world resembles Inside Out. Unlike other work, the film is mostly a fun and engaging time with some vibrant animation. Smaller stakes than some Pixar and Disney films making this feel more personal and focused on Sam and her relationship with Hazel and budding friendship with Bob, a Scottish cat voiced by Simon Pegg doing his easily recognisable Scotty voice from the Star Trek films. 

Of course, things don’t go to plan when Sam reaches the world of Luck, having lost Bob’s lucky penny. Most of the film revolves around attempts to find a replacement, simultaneously searching for an opportunity to ensure future luck for Hazel. The world-building is undoubtedly one of the film’s strengths, and this feels like a fun and original spin on Celtic mythology and the disparity between the worlds of good and bad luck is done engagingly. With the relatively low stakes, it feels like the film struggles to get beyond its central premise on occasion, sagging in its middle act and, at times, feeling repetitive. It does feel its 1-hour 45-minute runtime. However, the interplay between Sam and Bob is mostly engaging, and the world-building does ultimately reward the audience.

Skydance isn’t quite immediately ready to give Pixar, Dreamworks and co a run for their money, and Luck does show the potential for the company. From a visual standpoint, this is a terrific-looking animated film. It offers encouraging signs for future output from the studio with their second feature film Spellbound featuring Rachel Zegler and Nicole Kidman, due for release in November. 

Luck is a fun, vibrant adventure with a fun spin on mythology and some visually arresting animation. The voice cast is a treat to spend time with, but the run time and repetitive story do retract from some of the strengths making this a more middling debut effort for Skydance with signs of potential for their future output. The comparisons to Monsters Inc, Inside Out, and Onward are perhaps unfair to an extent as the film struggles to reach the lofty heights of those films, but as a debut effort, it is enjoyable enough with a strong message at heart and a sense of warmth. 

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