Saturday, September 16, 2006

Lucky Number Slevin: Grade A


Lucky Number Slevin

Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Bruce Willis, Stanley Tucci, Lucy Liu, Danny Aiello. Director Paul McGuigan.

This is a familiar story about a guy (JH) taking revenge on a Mob boss before he himself is killed. How many of those movies have I seen? Nevertheless, the talent here is huge, and all give first rate performances and that makes the move very enjoyable. The story is a bit confusing because some key details are not revealed until the very end when the main character explains what he did (killers in movies love giving speeches to their victims just before they kill them.) Only when you get the “How I did it” speech can you piece together the elements of the story in retrospect. But it all does fit, with only one bit of hand waving to get past a tiny weak spot (why did MF assume that BK was responsible for his son’s death?) The characters are not drawn in depth but are quirky enough to be entertaining. The script promotes racist, sexist, gay, and Semitic stereotypes, but not in an overtly malicious way. The dialog is actually very funny but that is its problem – it is too funny. People don’t really talk to each other like rapid fire Burns and Allen. So the funny dialog makes you think, “funny dialog,” and makes the characters unconvincing. But a few flaws don’t spoil an enjoyable movie.

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