CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

"The Lucky Ones" is really from Hollywood????

On the night that I went to the screening of **The Lucky Ones,** Commanding General David Petraeus formally transferred his command in Iraq. Given the success of his mission in Iraq, it was ironic to see Tim Robbins in this movie about Iraqi war veterans. Expecting another limp wristed Hollywood antiwar protest fest, I was pleasantly surprised to see a modern movie with old fashioned American values.

**The Lucky Ones** opens with a soldier on patrol named TK (Michael Pena). During a car explosion, TK is wounded in his manhood. While recovering, TK is given a 30 day leave for the states. He meets Cheever (Robbins), a career soldier who has performed his last tour of duty. Stranded in JFK Airport in New York, Cheever and TK pick up an additional companion, Colee (Rachel McAdams) and rent a car to Saint Louis.

Like a good odyssey, this journey is full of detours. Given that the three soldier have been away from home, they partake in the simple joys in life, like munching on multiple burgers from McDonalds. For the most part, the three veterans are treated with courtesy and respect. It is when uppity college girls treat Colee with disrespect that some post traumatic stress disorder is revealed. Yet each violent or dark moment sets up a positive punchline for "The Lucky Ones."

Each character has problems with their dreams. Cheever's dream of "settling down" is marred by an unsettled domestic life and a son being accepted by Stanford University. TK is worried about how his girlfriend will react to his war wound and he seeks medical attention from a special doctor in Las Vegas. Colee is on the oddest quest, she is returning a guitar to the family of a deceased war buddy. As the three veterans confront more weirdness, the three become to rely upon each other more and more.

**The Lucky Ones** is essential a road motion picture, from the skyscrapers of New York through the red dust of the Grand Canyon to the neon lights of Las Vegas. The cinematography shines on the big screen and illuminates the unique American character of **The Lucky Ones.**

Top billed Rachel McAdams is a treat to behold as the tom boyish Colee. given that four years ago she was Lindsey Lohan's arch rival in Tina Fey's **Mean Girls,** McAdams is a natural talent. Given his recent work in **World Trade Center** and **Law & Order special victim's Unit,** Michael Pena is in the process of making himself a household name. As TK, Pena carries the correct doses of maturity and immaturity.

Then there is Tim Robbins. Given his moronic comments about the Iraq War, it is easy to discount **The Lucky Ones** because of his presence in this movie about the American military. As the ancient drama critic Thespis said, "Act Well the part, there the honor lies." Robbins's performance as Cheever separates the celebrity from the character and it is an honorable portrayal. This verisimilitude is what makes **The Lucky Ones** and enjoyable movie for everyone.
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