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Review: Roger Avary’s crime retread ‘Lucky Day’ suffers from pulp affliction

Luke Bracey, Nina Dobrev, Ella Ryan Quinn, ‘Lucky Day’
Luke Bracey, from left, Nina Dobrev and Ella Ryan Quinn in the movie “Lucky Day.”
(Brooke Palmer / Lionsgate)

That fortunate feeling runs out early on in “Lucky Day,” a thoroughly unappetizing serving of regurgitated “Pulp Fiction” flung out by Quentin Tarantino’s early writing collaborator, Roger Avary.

After serving two years in prison for a botched bank robbery, reformed safe-cracker Red (Luke Bracey) is looking forward to starting fresh with his artist wife (Nina Dobrev) and young daughter (Ella Ryan Quinn).

Instead, he finds himself pursued by certified psychopath Luc Chaltiel (a scenery-gnashing Crispin Glover, sporting a deliberately terrible French accent), hell-bent on exacting revenge for the death of his brother, who was Red’s ill-fated partner in crime.

It’s no surprise the expected blood-soaked excess ensues, but while writer-director Avary’s parade of hollow characters walk the walk and talk the talk, none of them possess the undeniable charisma of a Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield or Mia Wallace, let alone the magnetism of a Travolta, Jackson or Thurman.

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In their absence is a lot of empty posturing and extended dialogues perforated by the occasional blast of gleefully over-the-top violence backed by a jangly throwback score that would have been right at home on ‘60s TV spy shows.

As wannabe Tarantino misfires go, at least one can say that Avary, who in addition to sharing story credit on “Pulp Fiction” also contributed (uncredited) to “True Romance,” comes by the affectation more honestly than most.

‘Lucky Day’
Rated: R, for bloody violence, language throughout and sexual content.

Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Playing: Starts Oct. 11, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills


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