What exactly is “Lucky Number Slevin?” Is it a dramatic action-thriller about revenge; a humorous case of mistaken identity with a few plot twists thrown in; or a love story mixed with excessive violence?
“Lucky Number Slevin” is, in fact, none of the above. In actuality, the movie is just another “Pulp Fiction” rip-off — an attempt at recreating Tarantino’s impeccable ability to mix a quirky plot with over-the-top violence and humor. It’s a shame that so many movies these days lack originality, and “Lucky Number Slevin” is no different.
The movie starts out simply enough as we learn about a fixed horse race in 1979. The plot then fast forwards to modern times as a young man named Slevin (Josh Hartnett) gets mixed up in a case of mistaken identity, resulting in two rival crime bosses, The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and The Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley), believing Slevin owes each a great deal of money.
From here, the plot goes off in various directions. Lindsey (Lucy Liu) pops in as Slevin’s neighbor and serves as the love interest of the story, while Bruce Willis makes a few cameos here and there as the mysterious Mr. Goodkat.
It’s almost hard to keep track of how many plot twists are tossed into “Lucky Number Slevin” √¢?” they are, perhaps, the only redeeming quality of the movie. Towards the end, everything comes together nicely √¢?” but getting there is practically a chore.
Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu, the two main actors of the film, deliver uninspiring performances, to say the least. But their acting isn’t the biggest flaw. Rather, the dialogue, written by screenplay writer Jason Smilovic, lacks any real humor or emotion.
This is where the movie truly falls apart. “Lucky Number Slevin” is, at heart, a tongue-in-cheek, humorous film. But Smilovic’s dialogue is filled with so many lame retorts and one-liners that you almost feel bad for the actors delivering them.
It’s not so bad, however, seeing Josh Hartnett up there making a fool of himself. After all, he and “Lucky Number Slevin’s” director Paul McGuinn got together a few years back to make the box-office bomb, “Wicker Park.” But seeing well-respected actors such as Morgan Freeman and Sir Ben Kingsley deliver such crummy dialogue is slightly disheartening.
“Lucky Number Slevin” does have a few redeeming qualities, however. As noted earlier, the plot ties together conveniently towards the end, despite the less than stellar acting and writing. In addition, the movie moves at a quick pace and keeps the audience fairly entertained with its twists and turns.
So what exactly is “Lucky Number Slevin?” Ten years from now, it will undoubtedly be remembered, if at all, as just another failed attempt at cloning comedic thrillers like “Pulp Fiction.” With such a star-studded cast, “Slevin” will certainly do well at the box office, but it certainly won’t be considered a great film. In the end, “Lucky Number Slevin” serves as a perfect example of wasted potential.