Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Movie Review: Lucky Luke (2009)

European comics have been around for decades but haven't made much of an impact on American readers despite the quality art, writing, and stories other than Peyo's Smurfs. But I enjoy reading them and watching foreign adaptions even if they have a different sensibility than American audiences are used to.

Lucky Luke is a 2019 romantic, comedy, action, foreign film starring Jean Dujardin (from the recent silent film The Artist) based on the European comics of the same name. It is unrated but is appropriate for tweens and up.


Lucky Luke is an expert gunsman who is quicker than his own shadow and lives in a fantasized version of the American West battling scoundrels and other villains.

The Good

Capturing the Tone of the Comic. The comic book is what Cartoon Network would call a "cartoon cartoon" with squat, cartoony proportions and silly gags that would never work in real life. The filmmakers did a great job bringing that surreal comedy and nonsense to life in a way that was fun, silly, yet believable enough that it didn't distract from the drama or tension. The only other movie to really capture a comic strip and put it on screen was Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy. The movie even manages to include a lot of different characters and incidents from the dozens of adventures.

Lucky Luke.
 Jean Dujardin perfectly captured the look and feel of Lucky Luke as well as created an interesting character someone who's never read the comic will like.

 The first third and last third move along at a great pace and are filled with a lot of fun, surreal action/comedy that is a joy to watch.

The Bad

'Lost His Powers' cliché. The reason superheroes are popular is because of their superpowers. Take those away, and they are pretty uninteresting characters. And yet writers and filmmakers love to do that: Flash loses his super speed; Green Lantern loses his ring; Superman loses his super powers; Spider-man runs out of web fluid for his webshooters. It's not interesting, and the middle third of this movie had Lucky Luke lose his luck and will to live. He is a mopey cowboy no different than any other mopey cowboy. It almost ruined the movie it dragged on for so long and was so boring.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I wish they had skipped the middle where Lucky Luke lost his luck, or at lest shortened it considerably. It was SO BORING. This movie would have gotten 5 boxes of popcorn if the filmmakers hadn't forced me to watch that.


Lucky Luke is a fun western flick filled with surreal action and comedy straight out of the comic. The middle third is deadly boring when Lucky Luke loses his luck, but the beginning and end are so fun, enjoyable, and well done that it's worth sitting thru. I give this movie 4 boxes of popcorn out of 5.


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