Roger Avary's 'Lucky Day' is an indulgent parody with joke French accents of gangster comedy tropes he and Tarantino created: Review
This article contains spoilers for Roger Avary's 'Lucky Day'
The only way this film makes sense is if Roger Avary (Pulp Fiction, Killing Zoe, Rules of Attraction) made it as a parody of the generic conventions he and Quentin Tarantino birthed in the 90s. In one scene, Nina Dobrev's character Chloe, the protagonist Red's long-suffering wife, listens with a strained smile at the appraisal of her art by a Chinese buyer.
The buyer says, "Your work is very interesting. But we have many like this in China. Do you know the work of Chang Chang? I feel your whole series is very similar to his work in 1994. Unfortunately, they make a lot of bad replicas available at the supermarket. But yours looks like a good fake."
Now, just replace the word "China" with "Hollywood" and "Chang Chang" with "Tarantino". So is that a self-aware Avary satirizing the gangster comedy tropes he had a hand in creating and that have now become offensive circa 2019 in all the ways they glorify sexism, machismo and ultra-violence?
Or is it him laughing at himself for making this film? Whatever the case may be, 'Lucky Day' is a rather indulgent, one-and-half-hour long exercise that mashes a Calfornia setting with joke French accents.
The plot is simple enough. Red (Luke Bracey), a safecracker, gets out of jail after two years because he was involved in robbing an investment fund company.
His French artist wife, Chloe (Nina Dobrev), child Beatrice (Ella Ryan Quinn) and a dog are waiting for him. While he has been away, everyone in his family, including the Mexican nanny, have taken to speaking French.
Then a villainous hitman, Luc (Crispin Glover), comes looking for them to avenge his brother's death who was killed in said investment fund company robbery. He thinks Red killed him and thus wants to kill him and his entire family.
He also speaks with a French accent because he is a stark-raving cuckoo and "thinks" he is French. He isn't really. So yes, there is a lot of unexplained French in this film.
The only Black guy in the film, Red's friend, dies saving him from Luc's bullet. (The other Black person, a woman, is raped and killed by Luc.) Red doesn't seem to be very brokenhearted about his friend dying though, giving him a quick thank you before buzzing off with the key to the safe that has a lot of untraceable treasury bonds.
It is always nice when your friend dies and leaves you holding the bag with all the money. In the end, Red's nasty parole officer saves them all (kind of) and Red gets to use his safecracking skills to save his daughter.
After the parole officer lets them go because "people in love have a chance", Chloe, Red and Beatrice go back to their Frenchified loft apartment. The gallery owner where Chloe has been showing her art turns up at their door with a massive check because Chloe's art is smeared with her "critic's blood" and has now become "viral".
And then they live happily ever after, dancing to French music. "The End" as Beatrice so helpfully says in the end. But most audiences will probably have checked out long before that.
'Lucky Day' releases in theaters October 11.