Review – “Lucky” for some…

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Lucky_1 " Lucky Number Slevin"

Cast:  Bruce Willis
          Josh Hartnett
          Lucy Liu
          Morgan Freeman
          Sir Ben Kingsley

Directed by:  Paul McGuigan

Like a runner about to attempt to complete a marathon, there are a few things you should do before going to see "Lucky Number Slevin":

Take a few deep breaths – you’ll need a clear head to follow a plotline that has more bends in it than a dozen snakes playing Twister.

Make sure you use the bathroom before this film starts – if you miss a microsecond you’ll be lost for the rest of the movie.

And the most important bit of advice I can give you – PAY ATTENTION!!!!  You won’t be disappointed – you may feel like your brain’s been through a blender but trust me, it’s worth the ride.

"Lucky" tells the story of Slevin (Harnett), who is having what could be mildly referred to as a very bad day.  A case of mistaken identity has landed young Slevin in the middle of a personal war between two dangerous men.

Crime lords The Boss (Freeman) and The Rabbi (Kingsley) have been locked in a deadly conflict for two decades.  Things have been simmering to a boil between the two, culminating with the execution of the Boss’s son – an act that he blames on The Rabbi.

That’s where the unfortunate Slevin comes in.  Mistaken for his friend Nick (who owes the Boss a large amount of money) Slevin is taken to the Boss, and offered a choice:  if Slevin kills The Rabbi’s son The Fairy (not the most pc name but hey I didn’t write it), The Boss will forget his debt.  Refuse and Slevin’s dead.

And just when things look like they can’t get any WORSE, The Rabbi’s men come calling soon after Slevin is dropped back at Nick’s apartment.  It would seem that Nick also owes The Rabbi a hefty sum, and guess who’s getting stuck with that tab as well.

With the help of Nick’s neighbor Lindsay (Liu), Slevin tries to figure out how he’s going to get out of this mess as the viewer watches, while other questions whirl through one’s head like a demented carnival ride:

Who’s the mysterious assassin Mr. Goodkat (Willis)?  Where has Nick gone, anyway?  What does any of this have to do with the massacre of a New York family in the late seventies?  What the heck IS a Kansas City Shuffle, anyway?  And the most important question:  In a game that’s getting deadlier by the second, who’s really playing whom?

Director Paul McGuigan has served up an exciting hyper-noir film, full of double-dealings, quadruple-crosses, and a shocker in the last ten minutes I did NOT see coming.  The cast is terrific, with standout performances all around.  I’m not usually a Josh Hartnett fan, but after this movie, I might wind up becoming one – Slevin’s an intriguing character, taking the bizarre situation around him with an easy grace.  Could it be he knows something we don’t?  That would be telling. 

"Lucky Number Slevin" is a film that deals with the long-reaching and devastating effects of revenge, and the consequences of compassion.

PRL’s Rating:  3 Bouquets and 1 sprig of "rosemary, that’s for remembrance" ("Hamlet" Act 4 Scene 5)

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PlatinumRoseLady’s Movie Ratings: 

5 Bouquets – Excellence, the pinnacle.  The movie you quote from all the time.  In fact, what are you doing reading this review?!  Go see this movie NOW!

4 Bouquets – A very good film; make an effort to see this.

3 Bouquets – A good movie – get out to see it, but if you have to wait until it’s out on DVD, watch it then.

2 Bouquets – Fair, don’t bother with the cinema; in fact don’t bother with the DVD.  Watch it on free TV… maybe.

1 Bouquets – The bottom of the flowerpot.  Don’t watch unless you’re a fan of "Mystery Science Theater 3000", in which case have at it.

And I’ll be including an extra flower (or bag of manure) with each review!

 

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