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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Not so slevinly

 
 

On its glossy exterior this flick displays some of the biggest names in Hollywood – Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett and Morgan Freeman – just to drop a few. Maybe this is the new recipe for box ofice success – cram it full of talent and cross your fingers. Take a virtually unknown writer, a Scottish director, talented actors and something called a “Kansas City Shuffle,” then put them together and you get the conundrum called “Lucky Number Slevin.”
The movie opens with a confusing background story about horse racing, an unlucky gambler and his unfortunate demise. The audience is hurled into the present where Slevin (Josh Hartnett), while visiting a friend in New York, winds up stuck in the middle of a war between two vengeful crime lords. Slevin finds himself the cruel customer of fate when he is mistaken for his friend, who happens to owe some big gambling debts. All of this develops while everyone in the theater is still ruminating over what happened in the beginning of the movie.
Due to the mistaken identity, Slevin is forced to assassinate the son of the rival crime boss, “The Rabbi” (Ben Kingsley). In the midst of all the action and suspense and comedy, a romance blossoms between Slevin and Lindsey (Lucy Lui), his next-door neighbor. For some, this could be too much to follow, but for those who love twists and turns, “Slevin” is a seven-layer cake.
Hartnett plays his role to a “T,” and Willis holds the audience’s attention in the palm of his hand. This movie isn’t all aces though; the dialogue is a little too much, especially for those who tire quickly of puns and cliches. The script is so clogged with wordplay that a few audience members will be consulting dictionaries and reaching for headache medicine.
As far as noir films go, “Slevin” is no “Snatch” or “Pulp Fiction,” but it might come close to “Memento.” Where “Slevin” loses its luster, is the amount of twists and witty lines crammed into the film. It tries too hard. Movie lovers shouldn’t bother with it. Hartnett fans will be overjoyed, as he’s in almost every scene.
“Slevin” could be considered date movie material, but only if the guy is better looking than Hartnett. This film may never receive acclaim for its surprises, but you can’t blame the film for being released at the wrong time. If you haven’t seen “V for Vendetta,” see that first. But if you have, “Slevin” is the film for you. Those who can figure out what a “Kansas City Shuffle” is, are ahead of the learning curve. This is the kind of film that leaves some people feeling like their brain is full. It may not be the best of its genre, but it is definitely worth the price of admission.

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