Plot: John is an ordinary puppet trying to make it through life, but he seems to have the worst luck. His finances are in total disorder and while he is able to find work, he has gone through a series of failed jobs of late and of course, his latest one seems doomed to repeat that trend. His one bit of good luck was to land a hot, fun girlfriend, but he worries she might leave him, perhaps even for one of his own friends. As his day begins to get worse and worse, his car winds up impounded and all he dreams about is winning the lottery. If he could just find some luck this one time, all of his woes would vanish. But will John ever have any good luck at all, let alone the level of luck needed to pull off the big win for millions?
Entertainment Value: I have to admit, I was lured into What Luck? by the puppet on the artwork getting road head, so I can’t pretend to be surprised that the movie was a crude, low brow comedic experience. The narrative is a straight forward one, following our hapless puppet as he whines, gets into various bits of trouble, and wishes for a better life, so not much we haven’t seen before here. There’s the expected relationship focused threads as well, but don’t expect much depth or exploration, this is brisk and driven by laughs, not introspection. Of course, having a puppet in the lead, especially in a world of mostly humans, adds some fresh vibes to the material, since it is humorous to see a slacker puppet in these situations. The novelty wears off, but it is a fun twist and the puppet work is better than anticipated. The humor doesn’t land often enough to earn a strong recommendation, but if you like the idea of a stoner puppet on the loose, this might be worth a spin.
The performances in What Luck? aren’t going to dazzle or rack up awards, but given the low budget, indie nature of the production, the cast is solid. The puppet is the lead and is around for most of the scenes, so while some movies might short us on the puppet action, that doesn’t happen here. The puppet looks a little jank, but the puppeteers do good work as far as how John moves and operates, so you can tell some craftsmanship is involved here. The voice work is done by James Murray, who gives John plenty of attitude and handles the comedic side of the material well. The human cast members are decent, but no one really stepped to steal the show. The cast also includes Kevin Carlson, Chad Fishburne, and Stephanie Rae.
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