Dripping with both style and blood, Lucky Number Slevin is a super cool but surprisingly violent crime caper that takes great pleasure in wrong-footing the audience.
Slevin Kelevra (Josh Hartnett) is mistaken for an absent friend who just so happens to owe two rival crime bosses an obscene amount of money. With both mobs, the police and an infamous assassin on his tail, Slevin teams up with chirpy coroner, Lindsey (Lucy Liu), to untangle the intricate web he is caught in.
Lucky Number Slevin‘s plot is complex in a way that doesn’t overexert the grey matter but it keeps you guessing right to the end. Granted there are some elements to the story that are predictable, but there are enough curveballs sent our way to keep us off-balance.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Lucky Number Slevin is that it doesn’t hide its intentions. Goodkat’s (Bruce Willis) “Kansas City Shuffle” tale early on suggests a story full of subterfuge and skullduggery, which is exactly what we get. Despite this blatant foreshadowing, Lucky Number Slevin still keeps us engaged throughout thanks to confident performances and Paul McGuigan’s stylish direction.
There’s just enough substance here and more style than it knows what to do with. Even if you don’t pay attention to the plot, watching so many Hollywood heavyweights verbally slug it out is a real joy. Morgan Freeman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci and Bruce Willis bring the star power, but it’s Hartnett and Liu that hold the film together. Their palpable chemistry and convivial interactions bring some much-needed levity to a story full of violence and deception.
If you can look past the occasionally graphic violence, Lucky Number Slevin is a seriously suave film that is well worth your time.