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Lucky Number Slevin

Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

The trailer made me excited. I heard of this movie before, but never bothered with it, mostly because of my dislike for Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu. But the trailer cemented my interest, with hints at stylish filmmaking and at least an enjoyable experience. Not to mention Ben Kingsley in what seemed to be a villianous role, and the greatest actor of all time, Bruce Willis. The end result of the film itself was surprising. In a good way.

Josh Hartnett plays the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he is mistaken for his friend Nick Fisher, deals with two powerful gangsters (The Boss & The Rabbi), pursued by the police and builds a relationship with Fisher's neighbour, played by Lucy Liu.

The film is nothing like the trailer. Virtually laughless, Lucky Number Slevin plays out like a serious thriller, albeit with some light areas, especially in it's portrayal of the two gangsters. In what could've been an average action flick, there is a cleverly constructed minor masterpiece, with some great performances and solid direction.

Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu are both excellent in their pivotal roles, but the film belongs to the two veteran actors Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley. Morgan Freeman is great in an against-type performance, while Kingsley is subdued and gives a fairly straight performance that could've been played for laughs, but instead move towards a subtly menacing direction. Meanwhile, Bruce Willis is having fun as a cold, emotionless hitman.

It's easy to see that the film is heavily influenced by other great works (In particular, North By Northwest) and the film isn't very original, but it has several clever moments and a great screenplay. Nothing is as it seems in the world of Lucky Number Slevin.