Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lucky Bastard (2014)

Sex. It can make you do funny things. And sex is everywhere nowadays, especially on the internet. Don't ever make a typo that puts the word "porn" into your search bar because it's guaranteed to leave you wide-eyed and red-faced. Or, I guess, breathless and horny, of course.

Lucky Bastard is all about sex. Set in the world of porn, it's a found footage movie all about a young man, Dave (played by Jay Paulson), who finds that he's about to have his dream come true. Thanks to the titular website, Dave is going to get up close and very personal with gorgeous porn star Ashley Saint (Betsy Rue). But will he be able to perform when it comes to the main act, bearing in mind that he's being filmed for Lucky Bastard?

An interesting look at the dynamics of the porn industry, and independent movie-making in general, Lucky Bastard has a few more interesting insights than you might expect. It's just a shame that the movie, despite being good, never seems to move into top gear.

That may be due to the inevitability, and predictability, of the events as they unfold, or it may point to a need for some sharper dialogue. Either way, it's the script, co-written by Lukas Kendall and director Robert Nathan, that proves to be the biggest hurdle. It's not terrible, and none of it rings untrue, but it just needs to be a bit tighter and sharper. And the structure would have been improved, in my opinion, if the guys had just gone from A to B, without a small prologue showing C and then moving back to A.

Nathan does fine with the direction, however, and he's helped by a decent selection of performers. Paulson does well as the man who seems a bit strange, but may just be too sweet and naive for the experience lined up for him. Rue is pretty convincing as a professional porn star. No, I don't mean that as a derisory comment. She's comfortable with the nudity that has to be part of the film, and manages to show that she's been around in the industry long enough to know a lot of the tricks of the trade, as well as whatever she finds acceptable and unacceptable. Don McManus is equally convincing as the man orchestrating the action. He may be a "porn baron" but he also just tries to make the best out of any bad situation, like anyone used to working in the independent movie business. Catherine Annette is a lot of fun as someone trying to break into the business, while Chris Wylde and Lanny Joon are both fine as the two guys working to capture enough footage to make into the next popular episode of Lucky Bastard.

Small niggles aside, Lucky Bastard is a solid piece of entertainment. It has some interesting points to make, it builds to a decent climax (no pun intended), and it stars Betsy Rue. What? I can choose to deem that fact a major bonus point if I like, and I do.



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