Published Oct 25, 2012Maintaining a successfully quirky or idiosyncratic tone and trajectory in film depends mostly on the voice, vision and, most importantly, level of sincerity. Either people have a naturally slanted perspective on life, which can be translated into compelling, atypical storytelling, or they have a more conventional take on the world (sort of like Ron Howard) and resultantly tell tales from inside the box.
Unfortunately, in the case of the inaccurately titled Unlucky, the notion of quirkiness is assumed via an exceedingly conventional eye and strenuously subjected to inorganic, compounding oddities without much purpose or consistency. It starts with the presumably unlucky Darren (Jim Annan) waking up nude several blocks from his home, doing the Thomas Jane Hung run through town during the dawn hours.
From here, we learn that he believes he's been abducted by aliens, as indicated to the awkwardly conceived mob boss (Pat Mastroianni) he owes money to, which is just the first roadblock in a series of forced scenarios and encounters that imply the titular unluckiness. But as Darren is forced into a bizarre photo-taking mission of an eccentric millionaire for his inconsistently motivated employer and police officers engage him in a wire-tap scenario to bust his loan shark mob boss, it becomes clear that Darren is less "unlucky" than he is short-sighted, solipsistic and stupid.
Worse is that every wacky scenario ― all of which seem exceedingly stale and Corner Gas-like ― lacks any semblance of cleverness or amusement, making the bland story stand out even more. And since it's nearly impossible to care about the well being of such a diffident protagonist or his romantic possibilities with the sweaty, scatterbrained Sarah (Rachel Wilson), it's difficult to care about the movie itself.
Ultimately, this generically Canadian attempt at comedy suffers from trying to be something it's not. Anytime a writer or director finds themselves straining and reaching to be goofy, it means that they simply weren't built to tell that kind of story. (Breakthrough Entertainment)