Luck (2022) review – a bland and ordinary animated picture

By Marc Miller
Published: August 5, 2022


Luck could have been something special, but its filmmakers lacked imagination which boxes in the film from the beginning.

This review of the Apple TV+ film Luck (2022) does not contain spoilers. 

No matter what, at the very least, animated films should never be bland or ordinary. When done well, the experience should be a virtuoso of creativity that can mimic real life in an exaggerated form. All while still promoting themes of universal truth. Apple TV+’s latest dips their toes in trying to match the success of Disney, Pixar, and Illumination with a family comedy of its own — Luck, an animated film that combines standard ordinary visuals with a story that is one of the blandest entries in the genre in recent memory.

Directed by Peggy Holmes, Luck’s story follows an orphan, Sam Greenfield (voiced by Eva Noblezada). She has a lot of lousy luck in her short time. Sam has been in the system her entire life and is about to turn 18. She will leave the orphanage soon without finding a “forever” family. Sam will now be separated from her friend, Hazel (Adelynn Spoon). She is a young child, and Sam acts as her big sister. When Sam is dropped off at her new housing, the adult social worker who watched her grow up basically blows her off. Even when she asks when they will check in on her, they drive away without an encouraging word.

While on her own, Sam starts a job but typically runs into things, drops things, and when opening a box of tiny cacti, these things all cling to her. She cannot add jam to toast without it falling on the sticky side and not near her plate. Her future is not looking bright. Then, one night when trying to find a table at a local cafe, she sits on the curb to eat. A black cat approaches. Sam offers them her sandwich. In a grateful gesture, they leave a coin behind. Sam picks it up and then finds her luck has changed. When she runs across the same black cat the next night — it turns out his name is Bob (Simon Pegg) and he’s Scottish — she finds out he talks and opens a portal to the land of Luck. And, of course, Sam follows him in.

If Julie is The Worst Person in the World, the writing team of Kiel Murray (Raya and the Dragon), Jonathan Aibel (Kung Fu Panda), and Glenn Berger (Trolls) asks us to believe Sam is the unluckiest person in the world. The problem is that after the first few “bad luck” accidents in the first act, they never build upon themselves. They also end up being pointless. Not to mention, one would think surviving all these accidents may make her the luckiest one on earth. It’s the same gag over and over, which is the equivalent of reminiscing over the same old stories with friends that become tiresome and stale. This is just a strange outcome for a team with a resume of animated films listed above.

There is also another problem with the picture — they needed a villain, and they do not have one. The filmmakers here seem to have forgotten genre standards, like trying to write a hit song with no verses. There is no one for Sam or Bob to play off of besides the smell of bad luck in the air. The script even lacks a certain buddy chemistry friction to make things interesting. There is also a third issue where I’m wondering when the executives at Apple realized their humungous financial mistake. The film’s meal tickets are the bunny rabbits. The supporting characters dance with Sam and are frequently called up to wear hazmat suits. Why? To gather and dispose of the bad luck purple crystals, of course. They are cute, funny, very amusing, and are used infrequently. These little guys could have been the next minions.

Luck could have been something special, but its filmmakers lack imagination that boxes in the movie. That’s not bad luck. That’s just laziness.

What did you think of the Apple TV+ film Luck (2022)? Comment below.

You can watch this film with a subscription to Apple TV+.

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