Utah, 1856. A young boy sees his family murdered by a gang of outlaws. He grows up to become “Lucky Luke” (Jean Dujardin), a suave and cheeky gunslinger who always seems to be able to work his way out of a tight spot. He is recruited by the US President to bring peace to Daisy Town, which is set to be the place where the continent-spanning railroad will finally join up. In so doing, he runs into Jesse James, Calamity Jane and Billy the Kid. Oh, and everyone is French.


More so than most films, your enjoyment or otherwise of this will rest upon your tolerance for silliness. Stylistically unique but distractingly quirky, Lucky Luke is undoubtedly its own creature, but that may not be enough to win over audiences. It goes without saying that this is another cynical attempt to cash in on Dujardin’s post-Artist acclaim. Lucky Luke dates back three years and is being rolled out on DVD this summer on what is presumably hoped to be the crest of an Oscar-winning wave.

Dujardin has plenty of charisma and convinces as a cocky, live by his wits cowboy. Most of the film is played very broadly and the cast are all clearly on board with that approach, even if some of the mugging and overacting does begin to grate before too long. Cinematography-wise, there is an abundance of filters, strange angles, surrealist touches and swooping camera moves. If nothing else, it keeps the attention, which proves crucial as the plot begins to run out of steam and the screenplay struggles to come up with enough incident to justify even the modest 100-minute running time.

Neither as shambolic and disappointing as Wild Wild West, nor as witty and enjoyable as Blazing Saddles, Lucky Luke does at least earn marks for creativity and boldness. No-one bothers to explain why the entire population of the Wild West are French and many of the visuals are striking and entertaining. It could be much better (and needed to be in order to attract much of an audience), but it could have been much, much worse. You can get it on DVD now.


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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.