I suppose enough time has elapsed so that a film like “Lucky Day” can no longer be seen simply as a Quentin Tarantino rip off but can now be regarded as an homage to the crime movies of the 1990s, especially when it is directed by Roger Avary, the co-writer of “Pulp Fiction.”
The film takes place during one eventful and bloody day. It begins with Red (Luke Bracey), a safecracker with an artist wife Chloe (Nina Dobrev) and adorable daughter Beatrice (Ella Ryan Quinn), finishing up a two-year jail sentence for a heist gone wrong. As low lifes go he’s a decent sort. He’s a just a guy who robbed a bank and skimmed half a million bucks to look after his family.
Luc (Crispin Glover) doesn’t quite see it that way. He’s a hitman for a crime cartel called The Connection. “I’m in the retirement business,” he tells border security in his outrageous and completely fake French accent. He’s come to California to “retire” Red. Seems Luc’s brother was part of Red’s team but was killed in action and now the faux Frenchman has come to exact his revenge.
“Pulp Fiction,” for better and for worse, inspired a slew of imitators complete with over-the-top violence, groovy yet quirky soundtracks, old-school details and unusual characters. And don’t forget the irreverent, edgy and politically incorrect dialogue.
“Lucky Day” falls firmly into the Pretend “Pulp Fiction” category.
It’s a movie with all the bits and pieces of the Tarantino classic but with a tenth of the impact. To be fair, Avary pulls charming performances from the cast, crafting the kind of eccentric, cartoonish characters that fuel these kind of films but nothing really connects. From start to finish you know who will survive and who won’t so the stakes never seem very high even when Luc has nice people in the crosshairs of his gun.
In “Lucky Day” Avary has made a buoyant, if predictable thriller, efficiently told, with some laughs and a gallon or ten of blood to paint the screen. It’s not “Pulp Fiction” but then again, what is?