x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

The Lucky One proves saccharine and overwrought

Zac Efron's career won't take off with his latest role in The Lucky One.

Zac Efron, left, and Jay R Ferguson in The Lucky One.
Zac Efron, left, and Jay R Ferguson in The Lucky One.

The Lucky One
Director: Scott Hicks
Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner
**

Efron is trying to make that difficult transition from teenage idol to adult movie star. Having gained a legion of fans appearing in the High School Musical series and the highly amusing body swap comedy 17 Again, he's making the tentative first steps into more serious roles.

A Nicholas Sparks adaptation is no bad place to start, considering that The Notebook did wonders for the career of the current man-of-the-moment Ryan Gosling. Unfortunately for Efron, however, this saccharine and overwrought tale is unlikely to do the same for him. The opening scenes are the highlights of the story.

Efron plays Logan, a soldier who is stationed in Iraq when an explosion nearly kills him. He's saved because he's looking at a photograph of a girl that he's found on the ground and, believing it to be a lucky charm, he decides to seek her out on his return to the US. It's at this early juncture that the action turns preposterous.

Hicks's film demands giant leaps of faith from the audience and it's hard to believe that at one time the Shine director was being feted as the next big thing in filmmaking. This is as far from an Oscar-worthy film as one can get. With no chemistry between the two protagonists and a weak plot, this is a barking mad romance that makes only those who avoid it lucky.

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