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- Lucky Number Slevin
- Runtime:110 min
- Release Date:2013-09-19 08:39:38
- Director: Paul McGuigan
- Genres: Crime, Thriller
MOVIE REVIEW:Lucky Number Slevin
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Lucky Number Slevin was one of the only movies I've ever pressed stop
when the movie's end-credits rolled and started over from the beginning
and watched the entire feature in its entirety all over again. I was
that impressed when I first watched it.
Fast-forward four years and
well, not so much. Yeah, I still liked it
(hence the 8/10 stars; I think my original opinion was 5/5.) It was
still clever, had good acting, but it didn't have that sting that
caused my original double-watching. I don't know what did it for me
this time maybe it was trying too hard to be smarter than it was, or
that Ben Kingsley has lost a lot of respect from me over the years A
Sound of Thunder, anyone? And even though I hadn't seen Thunderbirds
I really can't bring myself to do so.
Sure, Benny, sorry, SIR Benny, has been in a handful of excellent to
good movies Schindler's List, Shutter Island, to name a pair but
here, he just plain sucked. Lucy Lui I always like her ("Hubba,
Hubba, Hubba" Payback) but here, she seemed to just play the part.
Willis and Tucci ditto.
The only duo that stood out was Freeman and (oddly) Hartnett. I say
oddly, because, after his premier in the way above average Halloween:
H20, he's been as reliable as Keanu Reeves in film; you always know he
is going to be terrible.
The real winner here was the script. It's witty, fast paced, fun,
original and a lot of the times, you will, in fact, do what I did:
rewind and play again to see what you might have missed. I didn't see
this in theatres, but I did for Fight Club, and I might have done just
that for that movie.
Aside from the movie's intro that jumps all over the place though
it's a great scene with Mr. Goodkat (Willis) in a wheelchair we begin
with Slevin (Hartnett, and incidentally I LOVE that name: Slevin) who's
sporting a broken nose, a missing friend who he was supposed to stay
with while visiting in NYC and a nosey neighbor, Lindsey (Liu) who does
see more than he wanted her too.
Not too long after Slevin's arrival, he's kidnapped via being mistaken
for the friend he was supposed to meet. In nothing but a towel, he's
taken downtown to meet a crime-lord, "The Boss" (Freeman,) who explains
he owes him money, but a hit on his nemesis, "The Rabbi"'s (Kingsley)
son will do just fine.
No matter how much Slevin tries to talk his way out, truthfully
explaining he is not his friend mistaken identity, etc he gets
further thrust into the battle between the two mobsters and the police
all the while judging Lindsey and her "investigation" of trying to help
this complete stranger to her.
It's a very well made movie with great dialogue, twists/turns and
successfully takes itself from the realm of dark-comedy and quick wits
to a more serious movie of revenge and retaliation. Despite my opening
remarks, I highly recommend this little seen movie especially if you
like superhuman characters (Slevin) as much as I do. In fact, I think
his only Kryptonite, though it was integral to the story, was the
wildcard Lindsey. SEE IT!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although there are good movies where at the end we see our hero isn't a
very good person and it's a good way to shock us.But in this movie it's
shown as if we still have to root for him no matter what.They blow it
when SMITH/GOODKAT kills LINDSEY.During those minutes before we see
she's alive,we no longer root for SLEVIN/HENRY since she was
innocent,and clearly they think we're supposed to root for him.
The twists are well-crafted,but not well handed.The scene that reveals
us that SLEVIN and SMITH work together isn't shown as the shocking
revelation that it is,but instead as something we should already know.
The dialogue is pretentious because it believes it's full of great
speeches.Although the back and forth comments were funny at the
beginning they dried out very fast.
I wouldn't even recommend this to action fans since there's not much
The only conflict from this movie that's worth mentioning is trying to
decide what's worse, the directing or the editing.
Did Ben Kingsley forget how to act?!It was physically painful to watch
him do all those faces! Grades:D- in the U.S. and 3,0 in Chile.
(one quick thing when watching: don't make the same huge mistake Roger
Ebert did and expect Lucky Number Slevin to be a serious movie, the
triviality of the characters is meant to be that way)
Almost every thriller is set up so you know there is a twist coming.
What makes a thriller stand out is when you forget it's a thriller.
Fight Club is just an epic fighting movie. Memento makes you concerned
with figuring out what's going on, much like he is trying to do. The
Usual Suspects has you guessing at how the boat incident came to be and
who Keyser Soze is. All of them make you forget you're watching a
thriller, and just leave you concerned with what is happening instead
of what will end up happening. Lucky Number Slevin does this
brilliantly. With one of the best scripts I've ever heard (the film
style and transitions are just as poetic), a very unique and
entertaining set up for a story, and a constant introduction of
interesting characters, it makes you forget why any of it is related to
the opening scenes. Whether or not you love the movie, you must respect
what a masterpiece it is, the amount of thought that went into every
line and transition is impressive and if you consider yourself a critic
in any sense you won't be let down.
Now as far as Lucky Number Slevin being compared to The Usual Suspects,
I think Slevin trumps. If any comparison is to be made, it's that
Slevin fixed all the problems with Suspects. In the first five minutes
I knew who the mastermind was because they showed him and had him talk,
one of the most obvious things I've ever seen. Slevin doesn't do that,
only one face is shown and that's because he is telling the story.
Also, Suspects doesn't have anything really unique to it, the structure
isn't that special, and besides a few good quotes it can't compare to
Slevin. Slevin and Suspects are completely different, and I would never
think judge one from the other. If you want to see a pioneer for
thrillers, see Suspects. If you want to experience a script, story, and
film style come together virtually flawlessly, see Slevin.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't really know much about the theme of the film, I knew it was
some sort of gangster thing, but I think the good cast was what tempted
me to try it. The film opens with Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) telling a
stranger in the airport about a fixed horse race in 1979 resulting in
the death of two bookies and a Mob boss son dying, before Goodkat kills
the stranger. Then it skips to Slevin (Josh Hartnett) hanging out in
the apartment of his missing friend Nick Fisher, he had previously been
mugged, and he is visited by coroner neighbour Lindsey (Lucy Liu) wants
to try to help him. After she's gone, two thugs show up taking Slevin
away, believing him to be the man who lives in the apartment, taking
him to The Boss (Morgan Freeman). Believing he is Nick Fisher, The Boss
tells Slevin about the Mob rival between him and the other boss,
Schlomo 'The Rabbi' (Sir Ben Kingsley). The Boss wants Slevin, or
"Nick", to kill the son of The Rabbi, known as The Fairy (because he is
gay) in revenge for the death of his son, within five days. Meanwhile
Mr. Goodkat is helping both mob bosses, and it is a question of why and
is there a big connection to the whole thing, and the answer, yes, it's
Slevin in quite an interesting twist. Also starring Stanley Tucci as
Brikowski and Kevin Chamberlin as Marty. The casting is very well done,
Hartnett has some good one-liners, he has a good small love thing with
a sexy Lui, Freeman is great as the talkative and cool mob boss, and
even though Kingsley is a little less used he is good. There are some
well scripted moments to keep you guessing and hooked, the twisted plot
could have had a little work done to give it more impact, but it is
quite a fun black comedy thriller. Worth watching!
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