LUCKY BREAK is an engaging prison comedy from the director of THE FULL MONTY, Peter Cattaneo.
LUCKY BREAK opens with smalltime crook Jimmy botching a bank robbery with his friend and landing in prison. The warden at their prison has a passion for musical theater and has written a musical play about the life of Admiral Nelson, the great British Navy hero. The warden wants to stage the play in the prison’s abandoned chapel. Jimmy decides that the play will be the perfect cover for a prison escape with his friend. Jimmy, however, falls in love with his leading lady, Annabelle, the prison’s psychiatric counselor. Complicating matters is the toughest thug in the prison, who threatens Jimmy to abandon his friend and let the thug and his cronies escape instead. As the curtain falls fast on Jimmy’s freedom, he’s got to come up with a new ending.
The funniest thing about LUCKY BREAK is watching a bunch of scowling prison inmates perform a musical. James Nesbitt is very good as Jimmy, the wily, but appealing, rogue hero. He and Olivia Williams as Annabelle make a cute couple. The question in LUCKY BREAK is whether or not Annabelle will have a positive influence on Jimmy. The movie answers that question in the affirmative. Christopher Plummer is also excellent as the warden, who’s desperate to have someone appreciate his work. Watching the warden beam with pride as the prisoners rehearse and perform his play is a joy.
Some strong foul language and brief sexual references make LUCKY BREAK not as wholesome as it should be. The ending is not completely moral, but it’s not completely reprobate either. Thus, LUCKY BREAK deserves a solid caution for older children. It’s a pleasant enough diversion, if you’re looking for a light British comedy slightly reminiscent of some of the classic British comedies of the 1950s and 1960s.
(Ro, B, LL, V, N, D, M) Light Romantic worldview with some moral elements; 12 obscenities & 7 profanities; mild, mostly comical, violence includes bank robbers caught, shoving, fighting, threats, and attempted prison escape; no sex but some sexual references; brief upper male nudity; no alcohol use; smoking; and, bank robbery, lying and deceit.