Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
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Review Date: April 02, 2006
Director: Paul McGuigan
Writer: Jason Smilovic
Producers: Christopher Eberts, Kia Jam, Andreas Grosch...
Josh Hartnett as Slevin
Bruce Willis as Mr. Goodkat
Lucy Lui as Lindsey
A good-looking dude with a broken nose is crashing at his bud’s apartment when a mob boss calls him in for a visit. It’s a case of mistaken identity, you see, and the good-looking dude is now forced to kill someone or else…he’s a dead man himself. And as if all that wasn’t enough, the other mob boss in town also calls him in for a visit and gives him (well, the person they think he is!) 48 hours to pay up on some hefty debts. What ensues is a whole lot of jabbering, killing and Josh Hartnett-ing.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a funky crime picture loaded with slick dialogue, lots of bloody killings and a slew of oddly named characters hit the big screen, but if you’re a fan of the genre, love watching stuff like THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, BOONDOCK SAINTS, THE USUAL SUSPECTS and SNATCH over and over again, this film is sure to strike enough matches in your book for you to consider slapping down whatever it is that movies are costing these days, and enjoy the ride. I’m just glad that movies like this and RUNNING SCARED are still being released in the year 2006, when flicks like BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE 2 and EIGHT BELOW are rockin’ the box-office charts. I guess I’m not a “family man” just yet, and until then, gimme Bruce Willis staring muthas down with a couple of silencers in each hand, Morgan Freeman acting “The Boss”, Josh Hartnett running around in a towel for a third of the film and Sir Ben Kingsley playing a gangsta rabbi, and I’ll be just fine. In fact, toss a little bit of the always-entertaining Stanley Tucci into the mix and even Lucy Lui, who generally doesn’t “do it” for me – but who in this film, plays it very cute and adorable and…well, ultimately endearing – and these actors/characters alone were enough for me to stay tuned all the way through to the end. And the story? Well, it’s one of those intertwining jobs that uses flashbacks here and there, mixes a lot of names and characters and histories, and ultimately does keep things coherent enough for most folks to understand the plot, but between me and you, it really wasn’t as entertaining as I was hoping that it would be. In fact, you could certainly pick out a few plot holes if you want to…but I…didn’t really want to.

Also, I expected a lot more humor (maybe the trailer just made it look that way). That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have its funny moments – because it certainly does – but ultimately, it’s a pretty serious crime drama with lots of delectable dialogue and not all that much action…and yeah, a remnants of a romance for the ladies, I guess (this part didn’t really work for me, but whatever). Actually, if you cut away the film’s first and final 10 minutes, there aren’t really many killings either…just a lot of talking. I enjoyed it overall, but I would have preferred that they mix it up a little more, you know? Even the film’s style, which was very unique and original during its first act, ultimately disappeared and went by the basics thereafter. But when all was said and done, I have to admit that I quite enjoyed the film’s unforeseen conclusion, and especially loved the way it tied everything together…very, very cool. I’m not sure if all those flashbacks and explanations were the best way to go about it “cinematically” (some of it felt redundant and even implied by previous scenes), but it did the job and I’m not gonna nitpick too much more, since the film did entertain my jaded ass overall, and I would certainly recommend that anyone who enjoys their slick crime capers head on down to their local multiplex, pass all the lines for ICE AGE 2 and EIGHT BELOW and plunk their hard-earned bucks down for some cool adult shite.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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