Luck of the Irish (2001)

Rating PG
Length 1h36
Release 26.12.2001
Director Paul Hoen
About Kyle has always relied on his gold coin that brought him a lot of luck. When his gold coin is stolen by a thief, things go from bad to worst as they turn into their true form, Leprechauns.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Disney Plus

The Good

  • It’s a lighthearted Disney ‘made for tv’ movie that, at the heart, attempts to teach that luck isn’t that important and skill, talent (and everything important to a kid) are gained from inside.
  • As always, Tim Omudson is a welcome face to a cast. Bloody hell, he is brilliant as the power hungry leprechaun. His comedy is akin to British comedian Chris Barrie in that he’s very good at using ‘uptight’ for comic relief. I can’t even be mad that his accent appears a little patchy because it’s Lassie and he goes up against a teenager in a high school game of basketball and he Irish Jigs like his life depends on it.
  • Equally, Henry Gibson (Innerspace, Switching Channels and The ‘Burbs among others) is utterly joyful as the spurned grandfather who is initially believed to be the cause of the missing gold. His accent may not be perfect, but he really does make for an excellent matriarch.
  • While I don’t particularly like how the ‘hidden’ heritage is played out, I do love that before it’s revealed Kyle and his friend come up with ideas as to what might be the reason for the skittishness of his family.
  • The CGI, for a tv movie, is not too bad. I’ve seen worse on films with bigger budgets.

The Bad

  • The accents are as bad as you would expect for a film that has no native Irish actors. It’s that run of the mill, American does Irish. So it’s not Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York bad, but quite a few of them are that close. Its all rather cringe inducing.
  • At no point, writers, should the words ‘I touched the rim.’ be shouted by anyone in a film made for kids. Fuck, its so lucky I wasn’t in a cinema or a lot of parent’s would be stuck with trying to answer “Why was that funny mummy?” because I cackled for about a minute and a half.

The Ugly

  • For a film with a run time of less than 90 minutes, it spends way too much time introducing the characters and setting up the premise, meaning there’s a risk many viewers will have checked out before anything interesting happens.
  • I don’t like the message of ‘American Pride’ that comes across especially the almost shame like reaction Kyle’s mother has about her heritage. I know there’s a little bit of a breakthrough towards the end of the film, and that part of the immigration process for Irish people was this ‘land of opportunity’, but the message just became a little muddled and felt more “Yay to be American” and “Boooo immigrants”.

Final Thoughts

It falls into that ‘so bad, its good’ territory and could make a fair drinking game should you have the need.

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