Review: Zac Efron is lucky in love in Nicholas Sparks' The Lucky One
Everyone has their own lucky charms; some carry them around, do a little ritual, or even say a little prayer before their conquest. What if that lucky charm saved your life? Wouldn’t you hang on to it dearly and never let it go? Zac Efron shows us what he'd do, with a mature and mysterious performance in Warner’s latest, The Lucky One...
Something glints on the ground and winks at US Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron), beckoning him to pick it up and, as he does so, not only does he discover it’s a picture of a pretty girl but he also, by the skin of his nose, escapes an explosion that would have blown him to pieces from where he got up.
It’s because of this lucky keepsake that Logan believes he has survived all the things he thought he wouldn’t, through three calls of duty.
Fresh out of his third tour, with barely a scratch or a battle scar, Logan finally heads home to Louisiana. Away at war he’s seen and experienced many a terrible thing, and this clings to him like sweat from a nightmare. But, though reunited with his sister’s family and his dog, Zeus, he cannot seem to grasp back the normality he once knew before becoming a marine.
Intent on thanking the girl in the picture, and possibly finding some sanity too, he sets off with Zeus and finds her in Colorado. Finally he knows her name: Beth (Taylor Schilling).
But standing in front of her, Logan finds he cannot voice the reason as to why he is there. How do you rationally explain that you travelled miles because a picture of the person standing in front of you saved your life over and over again?
Although this love affair doesn’t get off to the most fairytale of starts, the relationship does blossom and Beth, as well as I, eventually get sucked in by those engulfing signature big blues of Mr. Efron. He comes across as mature beyond his years and does an excellent job in portraying a haunted and enigmatic man fresh from war, his quiet demeanour adding to his mysteriousness.
The cheesy use of the love story formula is where the film loses points though: guy meets girl, guy keeps secret from girl, girl finds out, they fall out, they make up, and then live happy ever after. Do I owe you a spoiler alert?
I knew too well what was going to happen and there weren’t enough surprises (apart from the yummy extra military bulk the lovely Mr. Efron packed on for the role) for me to distinguish this love story from the next. Nevertheless, it echoes the message that fate and destiny do drive those that believe and gets us pondering the life decisions people choose to make. The film also keeps alive the secret yearn us ladies have for the 'meant-to-be's and the happy endings in life that even I daydream of.
Like the saying goes, it is not the destination so much as the journey that is always most noteworthy, and watching Zac Efron is reason enough for me to enjoy The Lucky One, no matter how much cheesiness is involved. *Swoon*.
The Lucky One is due to hit UK cinemas: Wednesday 2nd May