280 – Lucky Number Slevin

Poor Slevin Kelevra (Josh Hartnett). He’s just lost his girlfriend and his job, and when he jets to New York to stay with a friend for a while, he finds himself mistaken for his now-missing friend by the heads of two crime syndicates, each of whom wants to use Slevin for their own nefarious purposes.

On the one hand, there’s The Boss (Morgan Freeman). Seems Nick, Slevin’s missing bud, owes The Boss a lot of money. The Boss knows Slevin’s not Nick, but what can he do? Slevin’s just in the wrong place (Nick’s apartment) at the wrong time (the present). The Boss also knows Slevin has no money, so he offers to forgive Nick’s debt to Slevin (i.e., not kill Slevin, which is important) if Slevin does a little favor for him. That favor, of course, is killing the son of The Boss’s biggest enemy, The Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley).

The Rabbi, meanwhile, tells Slevin that Nick owes him money, too, and he gives Slevin a short time to come up with the cash. So now Slevin has to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars and kill someone. Good thing he’s not alone; Nick’s neighbor, the vivacious Lindsey (Lucy Liu), concerned about Nick’s absence, helps Slevin investigate and contemplate. Also thrown into the mix is a double-dealing hit man named Goodkat (Bruce Willis); no filme noirish movie would be complete without one.

The movie feels a little perplexing for the first three-quarters, but then all of a sudden Things Make Sense. And not in a contrived, force-fed sense, either; it all falls into place. That’s one of the debits of the movie, though; there aren’t loose ends, there aren’t endless possibilities, there aren’t nebulous motives, and so forth. It’s all too  blunt, too black-and-white without even a hint of gray sneaking in from the side.

Hartnett’s not bad at all, though, which surprised me a great deal. I’ve always thought of him as a squinty-eyed dim bulb, frankly. He just seemed like a Big Dumb Guy, kind of like Ben Affleck. But Hartnett turns in a pretty amiable performance in the lead role, although the role was written as a little too glib for my tastes. (Slevin’s nonchalant, unserious attitude seems more off-putting and distracting than colorful, even if it’s partially explained later on.)

Praise should go to an able supporting cast, especially the adorable Liu and the trenchant Freeman. Stanley Tucci, who plays a detective trying to sort out the mess, is also superb as always, as is Kingsley. Even Willis, who by now can do these roles in his sleep, manages to inject some life into his rather low-key scenes.

All in all, the movie – despite its cumbersome title – is a bit better than I expected. The plot is fairly solid and believable, and the movie is well cast, even in the key role of the titular Slevin.

***

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3 Responses to “280 – Lucky Number Slevin”

  1. Jessica Nicole Light Says:

    I love this movie I love anything to do with killing iI don’t know why that is I have been in to killing ever since I was like 9 years old I am 14 years old now

  2. excawnjIreare Says:

    Hi people!!! I want introduce my [url=http://www.xrum.977mb.com]new year foto.[/url]

  3. datbuiva Says:

    hmmmm…very interesting!
    Thanks google

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