Lucky Number Slevin

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/02/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 115 mins

Enjoyable thriller featuring colourful, offbeat performances and a sharply written script that’s packed with snappy one-liners.

What’s it all about?
Josh Hartnett stars as Slevin, an unlucky young man who accepts an offer to house-sit for his friend Nick in New York after his L.A apartment is condemned and he discovers his girlfriend cheating on him. However, Slevin’s streak of bad luck is far from over – as soon as he steps off the plane he loses his ID in a mugging incident.

Things quickly get a whole lot worse when Slevin finds himself mistaken for someone called Nick and caught up in a deadly feud between New York gangster bosses, The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley). And who is the mysterious hit-man type (Bruce Willis) lurking in the shadows?

The Good
This is a stylishly directed thriller with more twists than a barrel full of pretzels. Hartnett’s easy-going innocence is well-suited to the role of the Hitchcockian wrong man and he makes an engaging lead, particularly when firing off his vaguely masochistic, violence-inducing wisecracks.

There’s also strong support from both Freeman and Kingsley, while Willis keeps the smirks to a minimum and opts for an understated menace that works well. However, the real revelation is Lucy Liu, usually cast as cold-hearted bitches and here playing refreshingly against type as Lindsey, a sweet, funny and extremely sexy woman who falls for Slevin.

The Bad
The film isn’t quite without flaws – for one thing, the violence in the film is a little too strong for some tastes, particularly towards the end. Similarly, the film veers dangerously close to the pretentiousness of Guy Ritchie’s Revolver in places, although it ultimately redeems itself by displaying a sense of humour.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an enjoyable thriller with strong cult potential, due to its offbeat performances and its witty, quotable script. Recommended.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 30/01/2020 07:22

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