Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

Director Paul McGuigan
Written by Jason Smilovic

Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, Michael Rubenfeld, Peter Outerbridge, Danny Aiello, Robert Forster, Corey Stoll.

After a losing his job, and a horrible break up, Slevin (Hartnet) heads to New York but is mugged as soon as he gets there. He heads to his buddy Nick, who has mysteriously vanished. Slevin is soon mistaken for Nick by two ruthless Mob bosses who Nick owes money to.

There is “The Boss” (Freeman) who wants Nick to assassinate the son of his rival, “The Rabbi” (Kingsley), because The Rabbi just had his son executed. As Slevin gets deeper into trouble with these two, he meets and falls for Nick’s neighbour Lindsay (Liu). Then there is the mysterious “Mr Smith” (Willis) who seems to be stalking “Nick”, and might be playing both sides with The Boss and The Rabbi.

Relatively easy to follow dark comedy thriller, with a few twists and turns thrown in, some that are quite obvious, but ultimately work.

The direction from McGuigan is done well, with some fun camera angles. The set pieces almost have a neo noir like feel to them, and the Score matches this design.

The screenplay is fast paced, and is only amplified by the cast, primarily the scenes between Liu and Hartnett who work very well together. I would go as far to say that Liu is the MVP of this film. Her character of Lindsay is adorable, and one of the reasons why I am such a fan of her work (this and Kill Bill).

A few downs; the ‘third act’ starts too soon within proceedings – and is drawn out over almost 45 minutes. Considering the ‘setup’ of the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist really starts at the 40m mark, we only really have half an hour of solid conflict. It just feels poorly broken down.

Kingsley’s accent is slightly off putting, and is trying to do a New York style gangster accent, but it doesn’t really seem to work.

Willis is a bit underused. Considering his current health, this is one of films he does well in and he was in his prime here.

I do recommend this film, it is a fun film and the cast do a fine job.



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