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Lucky Movie Review: Colin Hanks Goes To Scary Fun Extremes

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With the lottery competition as perhaps a last remaining equal opportunity rat race with no entrance requirement in sight, that playing field is also wide open for filmmakers to dredge up the looniest and least likely prize winning protagonists imaginable. A narrative treasure trove that apparently drove writer/director Gil Cates Jr. to darkly comedic extremes with Lucky, a tale of instant money and periodic madness.

Colin Hanks perfects his enigmatic poker face veneer in Lucky as Ben Keller, an Iowa bottom feeder working stiff who's still stuck in perpetual boyhood and living at home with his clinging when not nagging mom, Pauline (a wickedly eccentric Ann-Marget). It seems that Ben has never recovered from his unrequited schoolboy crush on neighbor Lucy (Ari Graynor), and she's still into snubbing him.

But when Pauline snoops around in Ben's belongings and discovers a lottery ticket subsequently containing the winning numbers of a huge jackpot, Lucy has an immediate change of heart and pursues her geeky neighbor instead. Which leads up to a quickie wedding and a problematic marriage. Complicated by Lucy's wild spending that instantly drains those coffers, before the next big bucks infusion arrives to replenish them.

But unfortunately, there's more. Ben also happens to be one of those least likely neighborhood serial killers, and he's been stashing a basement closet with the corpses to the brim. And in fact that winning lottery ticket did not even belong to Ben, but rather one of his random victims harboring a compulsion of her own, in pursuit of that dollar and a dream.

So will Lucy turn in her pathological mate and risk losing her dubiously acquired fortune, or help Ben bury the bodies? There's likely been too much revealed already about this gleefully deranged tale, but let's just say the goofy mania has barely begun.

Phase 4 Films
Rated R
3 stars

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

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