Lucky Number Slevin
Lucky Number Slevin is a violent crime caper that strives to be a clever and twisting revenge thriller but which ultimately feels a little unsatisfying and predictable.
Broadly speaking it’s a film built around a case of mistaken identity as a normal guy (Josh Hartnett) gets caught in an escalating feud between two warring gangsters. Thrown into the mix is the story of a ‘long-con’ and Bruce Willis’ assassin who appears to be playing both sides.
There are some good things about Slevin, the dialogue rattles along nicely and most of the leads put in a decent if unremarkable shift. Willis is on auto-pilot but Hartnett is charming and affable, Lucy Liu perky and endearing and both Morgan Freeman and Sir Ben Kingsley are convincing as hardened old gangland bosses. However it still just feels a little deflating come the point about two thirds of the way through the movie where the big reveal is made. The exact details of which I will of course not go into here.
Now, I’m not saying a movie can’t be predictable and has to have a big clever twist in order to satisfy, but when a film bills itself as a mystery thriller and clearly so badly wants its big reveal to be a Keyser Soze moment, you better have the twist to back that up. Slevin emphatically doesn’t.
Slevin draws on many key influences to generate its pulpy crime milieu, Pulp Fiction, Usual Suspects and even Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock/Snatch. The end result doesn’t come anywhere near to living up to those genre classics but it is nevertheless s a perfectly watchable piece of forgettable crime fluff.