Sunday, March 12, 2006

Lucky Number Slevin

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Bruce Willis and Lucy Liu

This film tries very hard to be more than a Saturday popcorn-standard thriller. Quality cast, lots of snazzy camera work and a script laden with pop-culture references, the latter being what passes for wit in our media-saturated age.

However, the key to any good thriller is the plot and this film is equipped with plot holes you could drive a van through without scratching the paintwork. The characters, while laden with quirks, Ben Kinglsey, for example is a Rabbi/Gangster boss, fail to convince and therefore do not engage the viewer.

It is against the (Hollywood) law to have a pretty person like Josh Hartnett in a film without giving him a love interest and this role falls to Lucy Liu who is here to do little more than provide a partner for the requisite make out scene.

Hartnett does the inscrutable/wooden thing well in order to try to conceal the twist, but you will have guessed what has happened long before the exposition speech.

That's the real problem here. A true thriller is a deft work of trickery, dazzling the viewer but not letting them in on the secret until the right moment. This film is too burdened with stale plot devices such as the eccentric gangster, key traumatic childhood event and random romance to ever achieve the necessary fleetness of foot.

Content: Contains strong language, violence, scenes of a sexual nature and Josh Hartnett in a towel for very long periods of time.


luckyfatima said...

interesting, i'll see it if it comes 2 dubai. i like lucy liu but i am wary of her as a china-doll icon in so many movies. ben kingsley as a mafia rabbi? no that is just plain weird.

thanks for taking the time to make this.


Safiya said...

Lucy is definitely standard "quirky love interest behaving implausibly". Not a hint of a dragon lady.

As for then Ben Kingsley character, there's a scene where he's reading the Torah (I think) and I wondered how I'd feel seeing a gangster reading the Quran in a film. Then I remembered we get to see Saddam clutching the Quran in real life. Truth is always stranger than fiction.

otowi said...

I never heard of this one! "Josh Hartnett in a towel for very long periods of time" lol :)