Lucky Number Slevin (2006) – Review

Josh Hartnett stars as Lucky Number Slevin...

A movie filled to the brim with style, intelligence and a twist no one saw coming, Lucky Number Slevin follows Slevin, a character played coolly by Josh Hartnett. Slevin is the wrong guy in the wrong place at very much the wrong time… or so it would appear. It may be that he has been set up by his friend Nick Fisher or that he is just incredibly unlucky – either way, he ends up owing money to the city’s two biggest crime figures; The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and The Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley). To make things even worse for Slevin he is being constantly watched by Detective Brikowski whilst infamous hitman Goodkat, played by the forever calm and collective Bruce Willis, is out to kill someone and Slevin seems to be in his sights. On the plus side there is a love interest for the unfortunate Slevin in the form of Lindsey (Lucy Lui).

People are killed left right and center from the off. Such a murderous barrage has the audience gagging for answers before being confronted with some of the most slick and intelligent writing bought to screen. Jason Smilovic’s screenplay is bought to life with a style that is very rarely seen in film by director Paul McGuigan. Many long shots give the film a mysterious feeling reminiscent of old detective thriller films. The constant slow soundtrack gives the feel of a European Noir thriller from the 50’s adds to the cool, slick style of the film whilst Lucky Number Slevin also seems to pull style from 70’s thrillers, with the costume and set designs giving it an air of super cool.

Slevin’s surprisingly calm and collected role is one that seems to fit Hartnet’s acting style organically. Even in the face of extreme danger Slevin is relaxed – a temperament explained by a condition called Ataraxia. He reacts how everyone wishes they could; with style. Lucy Lui’s Lindsey is the friendly neighbour who tries her hand at being a sleuth, trying to solve Slevin’s predicament as well as finding his missing friend Nick. The lethal assassin Goodkat seems to be pulling the strings, but no one can be sure why.

Lucky Number Slevin is a masterpiece of cool screenwriting, stylish acting and great directing. A film that keeps the audience guessing until the last moment it will leave you with a grin on your face.

Best scene: When Goodkat describes what a Kansas City Shuffle is to an unsuspecting, and alive, Nick Fisher.
Best line: Goodkat – ‘Charlie Chapplin enters a Charlie Chapplin look-a-like contest in Monte Carlo and came in third; that’s a story’.
Best performance: Bruce Willis for playing the cool yet merciless killer Goodkat.
Coolest character: Slevin

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