Sunday, April 14, 2013

This Month In... 2006: "Lucky Number Slevin"

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programing.

The Wrong Man

      Yes, I know. I finally got over being sick, but now I'm a week late of This Month In... again. But, we're back with what should have been last week's episode, Lucky Number Slevin. In case you haven't figured it out, this April we will be going back to April 2006. And we are kicking things off with a mind-slightly warping thriller directed by Paul McGuigan (Push) and written by Jason Smilovic (My Own Worst Enemy). And it's a good movie for once! The film follows Slevin (Josh Hartnett, Wicker Park), who is forced by mod bosses The Boss (Morgan Freeman, Invictus) and The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley, Hugo) into performing two serious crimes after he is mistaken to be a friend of his. As his day goes on, he falls for coroner Lindsey (Lucy Liu, Elementary), faces off against police detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci, Easy A) and learns how the mysterious Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis, Hudson Hawk) plays a role on all of this.

"And then, BAM! No pants..."
Basically Tarantino

      It may come as no surprise, but Lucky Number Slevin is pretty clearly based around the vein of films that director Quentin Tarantino tends to make. Much like his films, this film is completely self-aware, with expletive filled dialogue between quirky characters that often talk in references to something famous in pop culture. There's violence, a little sex and a very twisty plot top go with it and it is hard to say that LNS doesn't do it well. The film is clearly trying to be a Tarantino film and while it's isn't nearly that good it certainly is more than just a cheap knockoff. Mostly. It isn't particularly funny, but it does have it's moments. It isn't particularly exciting, but it is always entertaining. There really isn't all that much to say about this movie. It's a fun watch and it isn't terrible memorable, but it is worth seeing. The twist however, is worth noting.

Natural Born Thriller

      The central idea behind a good movie twist is that it should be completely set-up from the very beginning and obvious... but still catching you completely off guard when it happens. It's a tricky balance to make and maybe I just wasn't trying too hard when I saw this movie but Lucky Number Slevin did actually manage to completely surprise me. The film is based around (And named the trope of) The "Kansas City Shuffle", which basically is a con man having his target know they're being conned, but wrong to what the con actually is. And that pretty much summarizes my story with the film's twist. I got everyone involved in the twist and they're general roles correct, but how it all actually came together it was able to catch me off guard. It's a solid, albeit fairly silly twist, which does make the previous film better with knowledge of the twist. However, it must be said that it does take the film about a good 30 minutes or so the explain what's going on, so that does take away from it a little bit. 

Bruce Willis looks weird with hair.
The Verdict

      That's really all there is to say about Lucky Number Slevin. It's a solid thriller with good acting and directing all around. It is trying to be too much like Tarantino and as a result is too self-conscious for it's own good. But it's still entertaining and this twist, for me at least, was honestly surprising and made the first acts of the film a little bit better. Overall, Lucky Number Slevin is nothing too special, but it is a good way to kill a couple of hours. Lucky Number Slevin gets 4 and a half stars out of 6. And on next week's all-new episode of This Month In..., we get sent to the wilds of Africa.

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