Monday Movie: Lucky Number Slevin, by Sarah Brinks
Lucky Number Slevin is a difficult movie to describe. It is a long-con/con artist film but it is also a comedy, an action film, and a gangster film. It is also one of those films where it better if you go in knowing as little as possible. So let’s see how this goes.
Lucky Number Slevin has an all-star cast. Josh Hartnett plays Slevin Kelevra, the main character. Slevin is crashing at his buddy Nicks apartment when he meets his neighbor Lindsey played by Lucy Liu. Bruce Willis plays a mysterious man who seems to be linked to all the strange things that keep happening to Slevin since he came to New York. On top of all that Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley play rival mob bosses who both mistake Slevin for Nick and want him to do a job for each of them to forgive Nicks sizable gambling debts. If that wasn’t enough recognizable names, Stanley Tucci plays the cop who works the gang crime beat. There are many other recognizable faces in the film including Kevin Chamberlin, Danny Aiello, Robert Forester, and Corey Stoll.
The big name actors are not the only thing Lucky Number Slevin has going for it. It is a really fun long-con film. The reveal of the con is fun and satisfying so I don’t want to ruin that for you if you haven’t seen it. The editing in the film is also quite clever. It has a lot of quick cuts that match fast paced dialogue, so the film always feels like it is propelling forward. There are also parts of the film that are shown out of order or with a part of it missing, this helps make the end reveal even more satisfying.
I mentioned the fast paced dialogue and that is where I think the line will be drawn between people who love or hate this film. Lucky Number Slevin is very stylized from the dialogue, to the set designs, to the editing style and shot compositions. If you can get onboard with the style of the film then you will likely really enjoy the film, if you can’t I could see really hating the film. Hopefully the reveal of the con details would be enough to keep it from ever really disappointing a viewer. Lucky Number Slevin is very quotable and a lot of fun to try and figure out how all the pieces fit.