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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Movie Review: Put your bet on ‘Lucky Number Slevin’

    Lucky Number Slevin may have a stupid name, but it is genuinely entertaining. Lucy Liu and Josh Hartnett star.
    ‘Lucky Number Slevin’ may have a stupid name, but it is genuinely entertaining. Lucy Liu and Josh Hartnett star.

    “”Lucky Number Slevin”” takes unluckiness to a whole new level. Try getting fired from your job, getting evicted from your apartment, finding your girlfriend with another guy and then getting caught in the middle of a deadly battle between two mobsters. It can only go uphill from there, right?

    Bruce Willis sets off the chain of events with what he calls the “”Kansas City Shuffle,”” which is just a fancy term for adding another to the body count. He snaps the neck of an unwitting man sitting in an almost empty airport.

    Cutting to another plot, some mob bosses have set up what they believe to be the perfect betting scheme. They’ve been doping up horse No. 7 for the horse races, and a poor schmuck picks up on the sure bet as his free ride to the money trade.

    Apparently, the mob bosses didn’t realize that steroids are bad for horses, and the horse drops dead in the middle of the race. The average Joe is then out $20,000 that he doesn’t have, and the bookies decide to take the debt of him and his family.


    “”Lucky Number Slevin””
    110 minutes
    The Weinstein Company

    Heading into yet another seemingly unrelated storyline, Slevin (Josh Hartnett) goes to visit his friend and stumbles into more than just a casual visit to the city. His friend Nick has left him holding the bag for two big debts with two rival gangster bosses. Both of the mob heads think that he’s Nick, since they find him in Nick’s apartment. Nick owes “”The Boss”” $96,000, but the “”The Boss”” (Morgan Freeman) is willing to forgive the debt if Nick will knock off the son of his rival and former partner, “”The Rabbi”” (Ben Kingsley). “”The Rabbi”” also wants a piece of him to repay $33,000 or else. Slevin then has three days to come up with the money, kill the son and try to find his missing “”friend.””

    With a movie about mistaken identity, they have to leave out many pieces to keep you in the dark. The imagery clues you in to what and where to look. The linking of images, like the opening of a car door leading into the opening of the doors to the racetrack, ties the plotlines together and also helps to keep the flow of the action. The transposing of images on top of each other also helps to perpetuate the repetitive “”Groundhog Day”” type of action, as many of the encounters with the mob bosses are conducted in a similar way.

    The best part of the movie is the rapid-fire dialogue. Hartnett’s smartass comments are fun to watch because you know that each one is going to cause him another punch in his already-broken nose, which doesn’t seem to stop him. Hartnett, in each of his encounters with the various mob bosses, takes what they say and riffs on it. He plays on the words, then comes out with banter that’s completely tangled-up and twisted.

    Hartnett may not have made the smartest career moves in the past by agreeing to quality movies like “”40 Days and 40 Nights,”” but “”Lucky Number Slevin”” totally redeems his credibility to be a believable lead actor.

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