A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lucky's Treasure is a faith-based drama about grief, redemption, and significant life changes. A young woman reenters her heartbroken grandfather's life, helps him find his way, and meets a college classmate who will alter her own course. Adding mystery is a long-buried treasure, thought to be hidden on the family property, and two scoundrels who will do anything to find it. The conflict that emerges includes fist-fighting, gun threats, and a home invasion robbery. One of the main characters almost dies. The first scenes involve an elderly woman who dies in the arms of her husband. The widower later uses alcohol to excess, hoping to diminish his pain. Christian messages are incorporated throughout; characters rely on prayer and faith to see them through difficult times. Strictly for audiences who enjoy religious tales and don't mind uninspired storytelling.
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What's the story?
College-bound Emily Landis (Delaney) takes a break from city life to attend a rural college and live with her grandfather Henry (Michael Ironside) in LUCKY'S TREASURE. Though Henry loves Emily, he has not recovered from the death of his beloved wife, has given up on God, and may be losing his home. He's reluctant to have Emily with him and, early on, the relationship is strained. But Emily is persistent; her faith and her sense of responsibility keep her there. And, the fact that Emily learns about her late grandmother's decades-long quest to find a buried treasure somewhere on her grandparents' property is intriguing. The first days spent in her college classrooms are a welcome relief from the tensions at home. When Emily meets Jake (J.T. Neal), she finds a friendly, like-minded young man who is clearly interested in her. Complicating their budding relationship, however, is the ongoing interference from Jake's ex-girlfriend. At the same time, two greedy would-be felons are on their own search for the buried treasure, their efforts escalating when they hear about a journal that may lead them to it. Ultimately, Emily finds herself at risk from the villains, the wrath of an old girlfriend, and Henry's increasingly desperate need to save his home.
Is it any good?
There's nothing to recommend about this plodding, poorly-executed direct-to-DVD movie intended for Christian audiences; a misconceived treasure-hunt mystery only adds to the banality of the tale. Arbitrary plot elements are introduced in Lucky's Treasure; some of them never dealt with, let alone resolved (i.e., a major player's dependence on alcohol; an eviction notice that arrives mid-story and is never explained). Guns show up on random occasions simply because the storytellers think they'll add suspense. Characters have no rationale behind their behavior; they appear and disappear at odd times and in odd places. As with any movie directed at a specific audience, there's an art to telling a successful faith-based story. When the movie is trite, the resolution predictable from the very first scenes, and the production is clumsy and slow, delivering well-meaning spiritual messages simply isn't enough.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about films that are made to appeal to specific audiences (i.e., sports movies, horror films, sci-fi), but usually hope that general audiences might find them, too. What audience were the makers of Lucky's Treasure trying to reach? What, if anything, about this film would make it enjoyable for other than faith-based movie-goers?
Did the title of this film, Lucky's Treasure, and the picture of the horse on the poster, motivate your interest in it? Since the story has very little to do with Lucky, or horses, do you feel that the film's marketing was misleading?
Define the term "one-dimensional character." Which of the players in this film were "one-dimensional?" Do you find it more satisfying when a character is multifaceted? Why?
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