Monday, April 14, 2008

philly film fest - lucky miles

This cute film set in the Australian desert in 1990 teams up the unlikely combination of a Cambodian, an Indonesian and an Iraqi who have been brought together by a series of deception and mishaps, which continue to plaque them as they wander seemingly aimlessly. Their final destinations are different, one wants to go to Broome, one to Perth and the third simply wants asylum and none of them know how to achieve their respective goal.

The best scenes in the movie are those that involve the army reservists that are tracking the trio through the desert. Not quite a bumbling set, they spend their day punting the football or grilling shrimp on the engine of their truck. On the chase, they find the water hole that the trio their tracking found two days before. While taking a swim, the truck rolls into the pond. In a classic scene, the reservist responsible for the truck simply drops his head and lets out a sigh in admission of his failure.

The film suffers from a tad too much comedic fantasy. One character falls off the side of a cliff as he is being chased and the grunts he emits as he falls, unseen while the camera remains fixed at the point where he went over the edge, are laughter inducing because they last for so long and continue long after they should. But in his next scene, this man is seen without torn clothing, cuts, limps or any indication that he had just fallen hundreds of feet. The same goes for a pickup truck that is repaired from an utterly destroyed state in a matter of days. The repaired truck allows for humorous scenes, including the fact that it can only go in reverse, but it is unlikely it would ever actually be able to be restored to running condition.

Overall, Lucky Miles is a funny movie that doesn't make you think too hard, which can certainly be appreciated on the final weekend of the film festival. The audience laughed out loud on more than a few occasions and I think that should count as a successful comedy.

Lucky Miles
Ritz East
Philadelphia Film Festival

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