Luck (2022), on Apple TV+

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Luck is a 2022 animated film directed by Peggy Holmes. This new fantasy comedy film on Apple TV+ is written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. Created by Skydance Animation in conjunction with Apple, this is an adorable story of an 18-year-old orphan named Sam Greenfield (voiced by Eva Noblezada). He considers himself the unluckiest person in the world for not having been adopted by anyone until this age. However, now that she has legally become an adult, she needs to leave her orphanage and start living on her own. That sets up the first hurdle in the narrative: trying to handle his duties on his own without knowing how to do it.

Sam begins his new independent life on a messy note. From her bath to breakfast, many regular activities become important chores for her because things keep going wrong one way or another. Even in the store where she works, she can’t perform her tasks smoothly. Sometimes she drops an entire cabinet of produce or, other times, the ladders topple over, leaving her dangling somewhere on top of the cabinet! Her sense of bad luck is highlighted through such situations while making her coming-of-age narrative relatable. However, what appears to be Luck’s focus, through her non-expository narration, is an investigation of luck as a concept through Sam’s character journey.

Despite all these obstacles, what makes Sam endearing is how selfless she is. Although her life is not ideal, he hopes that Hazel (his friend from her orphanage) will be adopted soon unlike her. She thinks she is unlucky until she meets a black cat who leaves her a penny. After getting hold of this tiny piece of metal, all her troubles seem to disappear. This transition to a joyous, conflict-free world is conveyed as good luck, where all things turn out the way one would like. It’s an overly simplistic division of this concept that I don’t believe in in the first place. However, what keeps the boat afloat for me is the film’s compassionate approach.

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Sam soon after realizes the nature of this penny and comes across a portal with the help of the same black cat, which leads her to a different place. This new place is made up of cats and goblins who live in this land of luck. She learns the name of this cat: Bob (played by the hilarious Simon Pegg), who leads her to fulfill her request to get a penny from her on the condition that she leave her world forever.


The perception of luck in different parts of the world is hinted at through the black cat being Scottish (where that cat is considered lucky, as opposed to the stereotype). In this land, the job of its inhabitants is to manufacture good and bad luck for humans. This silly simplification doesn’t sit well with the larger goals of the narrative, but it somehow feels believable in its silliness. It makes the viewers root for Sam to fulfill his ambition and get out of the cycle of evil life.

What doesn’t work for Luck as a film is its convoluted plot center along with an overly simplistic and overly expository closing. Through an ongoing series of conflicts, or as the film puts it: bad luck, there is an apprenticeship for Sam, which goes along with the feel-good nature of Pixar films, but feels more verbal and inorganic. Don’t confuse that with ‘unrealistic’, which would be a stupid complaint from a fantasy movie! But the way the film’s narrative ties its knots doesn’t feel emotionally won over.

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The reason for this is the shaky build up to this point, which overcomplicates Sam’s path without being smooth in terms of storytelling. Another aspect that goes wrong is how the film loses its intention midway through. Sam’s understanding takes a backseat to giving the world-building within the lucky land the spotlight for him, which in itself isn’t particularly appealing either. It also doesn’t reveal more about Sam’s character, nor does it delve into his central theme.

What Luck still pulls off is the feel-good characteristic of mainstream American movies. The solid first half as Sam makes her way into the real world builds her up as a figure you can empathize with. And who wouldn’t want Simon Pegg to be so much fun as he voiced a mischievous but lovable cat? That’s what Luck relies on for most of its runtime, making it an entertaining but not exceptional watch.

Also, read – DC League of Super-Pets (2022) review: A formulaic, yet likable, antithesis of live-action superheroes


Where to see Luck

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