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Lucky # Slevin (DVD, 2006, Full Frame Edition)
(31 Epinions reviews)
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Lucky Number Slevin --- The World of Crime with Willis, Freeman, Hartnett, and Kingsley
Apr 13, 2006
Review by three_ster
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:great cast, a lot of interesting elements, some great camera work
Cons:some may think there are too many one-liners, movie could seemed detached in sub-plots
The Bottom Line: This is an interesting story that combines a great cast with some intriguing plot-lines that works on your mind and comes out a winner.
Lucky Number Slevin is one of those movies that are meant to be taken in by those who appreciate film. Below the story that the audience is given, there are many subtleties to the story which take a lot to weave into an otherwise dense main plot. Here we have a story that has many twists and turns, but in the end I ended up focusing more on how the film was made, than what was taking place on the screen. This could be a negative, if you look at it from the standpoint that the story should be larger than its parts, but it is the "parts" that made it so interesting to me. Some of the ideas and ideals of the film don't quite succeed in their attempts to create something great, but at the same time Lucky Number Slevin does create good entertainment on a major scale, and it is a film that I am going to want to see a second time.
Recommend this product?
The film stars Josh Hartnett as a kid mistaken for someone else. This mistaken identity has put him into a scenario that involves two mob bosses of the same city. The bosses are sworn rivals, living in the same city, and both having a debt owed to them by the person they think Hartnett is. Called before them, they both want something from Hartnett in exchange for waving those debts, and the party begins. This is really a two-part story though, because we get to see the story from Hartnett, and from hit-man Bruce Willis. Once again Willis has a gun put in his hands as a worldly assassin going by the name of Mr. Goodkat. Goodkat is the best in the business, and outside of the main story, we get to see him working, and telling stories about what has set the real story in motion. It's interesting, because they gave Willis lines that would normally go to a more upscale actor, and not an action star. There were times that I wasn't on the same page as his character, but I let that slide for now.
Playing the opposing mob bosses are Morgan Freeman and Sir Ben Kingsley in roles that fit them perfectly. Both are masters of their craft in my opinion, and Kingsley once again floored me with his ability to play a Rabbi in this part. They both bring interesting side stories to the film, and the power of their personalities brings a lot of power to the story. In other roles we have Stanley Tucci as lead detective Brikowski, and Lucy Liu as the next door neighbor of the man Hartnett is supposed to be. Both also bring some interesting intricacies to the story, and help create an atmosphere that is both fun at times, and appallingly dreary at others. The downtrodden scenes are fully intended, and Director Paul McGuigan gets a little bit of extra credit from me for the way that he uses all of his actors in the film. Lucky Number Slevin becomes much more than it could have been because of this and the added camera direction that was intertwined into the plotlines.
This is a story of making the most of a dire situation. What the creators of the story (and the writers) do is create a set of events that takes us into a corner from which we have to fight ourselves out of. It isn't the easiest story to follow at times, and with some of the camera movements and faze outs of scenes, it can also turn frustrating for a movie-goer needing to instantly know what is going to happen. I must admit, that some of the under stories were a little on the predictable side, and it was because of this that the film is going to get 4 stars instead of 5 from me. The acting was really good in my opinion, and the way that the cinematography was played with reminded me much of an old Humphrey Bogart or Jimmy Stewart movie, where the atmosphere added more to the emotions of the characters than the mere lines they are uttering. There is a lot of violence used to make statements in the film, and at times the language is rough, but for this story both were actually needed. With all of my high praise, don't fall under the impression that this is the next coming of great film making, but rather that the movie had many elements which really impressed me. The strong acting kept me interested throughout, and in the end I thought it was a pretty good film. Is there room for improvement upon some of the themes used here? Sure. But go in knowing this is a film about mobsters and assassins, and you won't leave thinking you were duped into something else.
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