Friday, July 1, 2011

Lucky Luke (2009)


With The New York Asian Film Festival starting today I want begin our counter programing to the reports we'll be filing from the road. Through out the entire NYAFF we'll not only present reports from the festival, but we'll be still presenting a movie a day every day that isn't from Asia. First up a sneak peak of next weeks all western week- Luck Luke.

Legendary hero Lucky Luke gets a summons from the President to clean up his old home town, Daisy Town, so that it can be the point where the Intercontinental Railroad finally joins east to west. Unfortunately he's going to have to deal with a town full of really bad guys who will test his vow never to kill.(And a ton of bad memories of what happened when his family was wiped out).

This live action adaption of the classic comic by Asterix the Gaul creator Rene Goscinny is probably as close to the comic as we're ever going to get. Luke and all his friends are here complete with huge forelock, over sized boots and his horse Jolly Jumper. The film is shot in a style that manages to both pay homage to both the comic book and the Spaghetti Westerns that influenced the comic and generations of filmmakers.

I became a mild fan when I saw some animated bits back more years than I should admit. They were playing on some long lost cable station and I was kind of bemused and confused by what I was seeing. I ended up reading some comics and was nicely surprised by what I read.

To be perfectly honest this film is a mixed bag. On the one hand there is a never ending series of small joys, performances, shots, musical cues, and perfect sequences that get not only my memory of the comic right but are just damn fine film making; however the film never completely pulls all those bit together into a completely satisfying whole. Yes it's good movie, but the pieces are great and it's disappointing that all of the elements when put together don't make a better film. I wanted a great film.

Currently unreleased in the US the film can be had as an import (check Amazon) and reservations aside, it's worth tracking down because the bits are a real blast.

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