Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Iím looking at the back of the box of my copy of ĎLucky Number Sleviní and notice a critics blurb which states, ďTake the best parts of Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspect, and The Professional and you have Lucky Number SlevinĒ.  High praise indeed from the unknown critic and probably a bit hopeful as Slevin aims for, but doesnít reach those lofty heights as set by autuers Tarantino, Singer and Besson.

So my man Slevin (Josh Hartnett) is in town visiting his friend Nick Fisher after losing his job, his apartment and his girlfriend.  But on arrival in the big apple, Slevin is mugged, his wallet stolen, but they let him keep his luggage and his expensive watch.  Peculiar thinks Nickís nosy but hot neighbor Lindsey (Lucy Lui), as she sets out to find out exactly where Nick is with Slevinís help.

But Nick is deep in hock to some bad characters, mainly The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and the Rabbi (Sir Ben Kinglsey), former partners who are now in constant war with each other.  They both mistake Slevin for Nick and decide to have Slevin do some dastardly deeds to work off Nickís considerable debt.

Also behind the scenes is professional hitman Mr. GoodKat (Bruce Willis) who seems to be playing both sides against the middle and using Slevin as a puppet for some as yet undetermined goal.

Director Paul McGuigan has crafted a film which would like to think itself a clever tricky little thriller, and in many senses it is, just as not quite as clever and tricky as it

thinks it is.  For people who watch and love these kinds of movies, such as myself, you know very well as confusing as they try to make plot and as many threads they attempt to unravel, itís going to all tumble very neatly into place at the end.  Slevin is no exception as weíre introduced to numerous characters with wildly different agendas which will eventually lead to some final commonality with a twist at the end.  The problem with Slevin, in my opinion, is that this twist just ainít so twisty.  Without giving anything away it seemed fairly obvious from the start who was doing what to whom as itís laid out to us pretty clearly early on.  As opposed to a twisty film like ĎThe Sixth Senseí which was also laid out for us fairly early, but it still managed to surprise.  Slevin didnít surprise me at all.

Thatís not to say itís not a good movie, because I did enjoy it.  Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley, uh, I mean SIR Ben Kingsley are marvelous actors who do marvelous work in this film.  Josh Hartnettís character of Slevin has a trait of not worrying or being concerned about anything, though I think that may be a script adjustment to cater to Mr. Hartnettís acting talents than anything else, but within that range he handled the character well.  Bruce Willis hasnít actually acted in a film in years.  The pacing of the film was brisk and the direction and cinematography solid.  The ending of the film seemed terribly out of place however and was probably tacked on by some test screening suggestion.  Iím sure if I asked Director McGuigan about it, he would relay he had absolutely nothing to do with the overtly syrupy and melodramatic final scene.  An alternate ending on the DVD seemed a bit more fitting, but alas didnít make the cut.

Recommended more so because itís way better than most of the crap out there than being just flat out great on itís own right, ĎLucky Number Sleviní as a whodunit caper that was well worth my time.

 

 

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