STAN LEE’S LUCKY MAN Series One
The luck of the Irish
released 4 April 2016 | 15 | DVD
Creators Stan Lee, Neil Biswas
Cast James Nesbitt, Amara Khan,
Sienna Guillory, Steven Mackintosh
“Whoever wears the bracelet is endowed with immense luck,” somebody tells police detective Harry ( James Nesbitt), as he struggles to figure out why he can’t get the bloody thing off his wrist – it having appeared there the morning after a one- night stand. His response? Pretty much what most people would say, and with a pleasingly blunt turn of phrase: “Well, that’s shite.”
But is it? Harry, a compulsive gambler, soon starts to notice he’s winning big, and can take ridiculous risks during police chases. Before long he’s walking across a motorway dodging cars going at full speed, or jumping off buildings without a thought for his personal safety, all because his bracelet is wrangling the odds of the universe to help him survive. All very handy when you’re trying to solve a murder case and the bad guys are trying to stop you.
There’s nothing particularly original about any of this, of course: ’ 90s series Strange Luck also had a preternaturally lucky lead character, for instance. But Lucky Man not only has Stan Lee’s name attached to bring in the viewers, it also has the charming Nesbitt as its star and Amara Khan as his partner, Suri, who manages to be a superb, well- rounded female character. For the first half of the series, watching these two working together is a delight... but then comes the second half, where it all starts to unravel.
As the net starts to close in the investigation and Harry finds himself a target, not only does all the fun leach out of the show but all the wit and intelligence, too, until it becomes little more than a standard primetime drama which for huge chunks of the time seems to forget it has supernatural elements. Without the witty back- and- forth between Harry and Suri, and with the plot becoming easier to figure out with each minute – the revelation of the Big Bad wouldn’t even surprise your cat – it feels as though the writing team just ran out of steam.
However, despite this, Lucky Man is still worth a watch. It’s beautifully shot, making London look very glamorous; the supporting cast is superb; the idea that Harry ends up making somebody suffer every time he uses the bracelet is morally intriguing – although perhaps not played out as well as it could have been – and then there’s Nesbitt. It’s a joy to see an actor so talented given such a meaty role, and you can see his eyes twinkling with delight in almost every scene. Definitely a lucky man.
Extras A Making Of and three further short featurettes ( 24 minutes). Jayne Nelson
Naturally, there’s a Stan Lee cameo: in episode one – Harry walks past Forbidden Planet and Stan’s inside signing autographs.
The Chancellor was determined to get to the Budget on time.