Lucky Number Slevin is a very good film with a potentially crippling weakness, which makes grading it a tricky business. Heck, even talking or writing about it is somewhat tricky. The greatness of this film rests solely on its ability to reach up and surprise you and if I go into much detail it might lose that, and thus the reason for the B+. If you know what’s shaking in this film the whole time it won’t be better than a C+ for you. Consider yourself warned, smart guy.
One thing that is for certain is I loved Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu in this flick [clip here]. They have a very lovely chemistry and she’s looking fine like citrus wine. The cast also features heavywieghts like Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Sir Ben Kinglsey. Additionally Lucky Number Slevin features welterweight Stanley Tucci. If you know him you truly follow the sweet science and I commend you.
The plot involves Hartnett thrown into a topsy-turvy situation where up is down and down is out. He arrives at his friend’s apartment and is immediately involved in a mystery of Agathian proportions. He’s very wry and clever and his dialogue sparkles like a Christmas pony in the film. Actually, kudos in general to screenwriter Jason Smilovic. He is a fellow who clearly loves language. It’s rare that a screenwriter gets any love in my reviews so enjoy it Jason!
Lucky Number Slevin reminded me a ton of Memento mixed with Big Lebowski. The film constantly wants you guessing as to what’s going on but it also entertains you during the pursuit. There are bushels of smirk and laugh worthy moments. That’s the good news. The bad news is again the tricky part, the rub, the bamboozler. This clearly is a twisty style movie in which if you aren’t digging the vibe there is very little for you to grab on to. Additionally the end does go about ten minutes too long but I kind of understood the vanity after such a clean and crisp effort.
If you are a film person you will really like this film. Just don’t read any more reviews (no one does it like we do anyhow), don’t watch a trailer, and try to enjoy the suspense as opposed to popping it with your giant smarty pants intellect. If you want to take a good ride I’d see this film if I were you. If you were the kid who always raised his hand first and last in every class maybe you should sit this one out. Presumably you don’t have a ton of friends to go with anyway. Polish up your debate trophy. (ed note: I’m not sure how this became an attack on intelligence as those are the readers I covet… I wrote myself into a corner and had to come out swinging like champion welterweight Pucci). Okay, okay, I give. Uncle. Everyone should see it and report back.