Lucky Number Slevin

June 22, 2009


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Lucky Number Slevin

Review By: Dan Deevy

DanDeevy@TheCinemaSource.com

Lucky Number Slevin was the most fun I've had at the movies in a long time! This was one of those situations where I hadn't seen a trailer, read an article or even heard rumblings about the film before I sat down in the theater to watch it. Sometimes that works to your advantage as it did here, and other times it can make things somewhat hard to follow (Brick).

In any case, there have been three movies this year that I absolutely loved and when friends ask me (and they often do) what films they should go see the list is very short and always the same "” Lucky Number Slevin, Brick and Hard Candy. All of these films were extremely well written, acted and directed. They've basically got it all covered. The sophistication in the dialogue particularly in Slevin was amazing. Way back when, pre-computer digital FX (which I still love, don't get me wrong) stories were dialogue driven lending to the old time expression, 'If It Ain't On The Page, It Ain't On The Stage.' Now-a-days focus is less on what is said favoring where it's said, or by whom. Slevin brings back an amazing almost lyrical flow to the language exchange in the movie.

As I said, it's best to not know too much about this story so I'm just gonna give you the absolute bare-bones"¦ Josh Hartnett plays Slevin, a man who is mistakenly identified as Nick Fisher "” someone who owes a lot of money to The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and The Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley), feuding crime lords who live across the street from one another. Unless he can come up with a way to settle his assumed debts"¦ well"¦. I think you can figure out what'll happen to him. Ohh, and yeah somewhere in the mix is a horse named Slevin, a murder, a hot medical examiner who lives next door (Lucy Liu), a cop from the old neighborhood (Stanley Tucci) and the best contract killer in the world, Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis).

I'm not going to say that this was a perfect Crime Noir Thriller because I am the furthest thing from an expert on that genre. In fact, I left this film wishing I knew more about it so I could pull out a bunch of fancy references to past movies that film buffs would identify with and give me immediate props for being so well versed in film history. Sadly, I majored English and Theater in College so I can't do that. But what I can say is that this film was without fault precisely what I would expect a modern day Crime Noir Thriller to be. The story has twists and turns that no one sees coming and always seems to be just that one tiny step away from the ubsurd, but never ever crosses that line.

Largely contributing to the films believabilty was the cast. They all, without exception, got their minds and lips around this language so well that none of it seemed forced, phoney or scripted. Just a natural flow at a slightly unnatural pace.

I literally can not say enough good things about this film to the point where I really have no complaints. You have to check it out in theaters to see if you agree but my guess is its going to be a huge box office success coupled with boatloads of critical acclaim… But then again, I also thought that Brokeback was a shoe in for Best Picture"¦

Movie Grade: A

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