Film Review: Lucky

Can a serial killer and a gold-digger find happiness as lottery winners? That’s the thin premise of this comedy misfire.

Colin Hanks—purportedly the love child of Tom Hanks and Rowan Atkinson—is quite helpful at putting up a clean-cut, charming, inordinately amusing argument to his miscast plight here in this rumored comedy bearing the misnomer of Lucky.

Director Gil Cates, Jr., who co-produced and co-authored this dubious enterprise and comes from good stock as well, has hired Hanks to play the least likely lady-killer in memory, stalking malls in small-town Iowa where even serial-killing doesn’t shake the denizens out of their lethargy. He’s partial to blondes of a certain height and weight—carbon-copies, really, of his childhood true-love (Ari Graynor)—and he piles up a stack of three luckless damsels before Dame Fortune finally fires back.

His needy, nagging mom (Ann-Margret, has it come to this?) finds a winning lottery ticket in his room and alerts the media where to point their cameras—only the ticket belonged to his last victim, so it’s just a matter of time before the slo-mo sleuth (Jeffrey Tambor) connects the killer with his lucky corpse. Still, that’s enough time for Graynor, who has been seducing her way up the corporate ladder, to perk up some interest in Hanks, seeing him as a short-cut to the mega-bucks.

What follows, darkly, is a cautionary tale for even the most dedicated of gold-diggers. Until she can safely maneuver his $36 million into her lap, greedy Graynor finds herself having to bite her lip and hold her tongue after she happens to come across one of her new groom’s extracurricular cadavers during their Hawaiian honeymoon.

Sincerely surprising is the nice little table-turning fillip to all this contorted, not particularly convincing macabre mirth. And it must be said the cast does what it can to finesse some fun into the proceedings. John Swihart’s light-fingered musical score likewise encourages a mood of merriment, however forced and fleeting that may be.

Lucky ran out of luck on the drawing boards when director Cates and his scripter, Kent Sublette, came up with a premise where plot and tone forever fight each other.