Martin Short, Danny Glover are out of luck in 'Pure Luck'

August 09, 1991|By Stephen Wigler

"Pure Luck" is Martin Short's lousy luck.

How anyone so funny on TV -- his Ed Grimley creation alone earns him a place in the comic Pantheon -- ends up in so many crummy flicks remains a mystery.

But there's no secret why "Pure Luck's" a flop. It's an Americanization of the French film "Le Chevre" by Francis Veber, who has made a business of licensing his films to Hollywood. "The Toy," "The Tall Blond Man with One Red Shoe," and "Three Fugitives" were all crummy movies based on mediocre Veber orginals. That Veber was the executive producer of this lemon should have sounded a clarion warning.

Scene after scene in "Pure Luck" follows from "Le Chevre" and even some of the bit players and the Mexican locations are the same as the original's. The result is comedy-by-the-numbers; the inspiration -- if it can be called that -- clearly comes from another movie.

Short stars in the Pierre Richard role as the world's unluckiest accountant and Danny Glover takes the Gerard Depardieu part as a short-tempered, two-fisted detective.

An insurance tycoon's accident-prone daughter (Sheila Kelley) has been kidnapped and one of the tycoon's assistants theorizes that only someone as unlucky as the daughter can find her. That sends the hapless Short and Glover, who is supposed to pick up clues from his companion's mishaps, to the wilds of Mexico.

Short is a great physical comic, but there are only so many times we can be amused when he walks into a glass door, steps into quicksand or drives off a cliff. As for the talented Glover -- he just glowers. He probably wished he was in "King Lear," "Coriolanus" or even one of the "Lethal Weapon" movies -- anything but "Pure Luck"!

'Pure Luck'

Starring Martin Short and Danny Glover.

Directed by Nadia Tass.

Released by Universal.

Rated PG.


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