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June 2006

June 2006: Halves

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    June 2006: Halves
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  • Movie: Gubra
  • Movie: Lucky Number Slevin


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  • Lucky Number Slevin
    Movie Review
    by Georgette Tan

    Genre: Action, comedy, drama, crime
    Language: English
    Director: Paul McGuigan
    Cast: Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Stanley Tucci, Michael Rubenfeld, Mykelti Williamson

    Strange case of mistaken identity

    You don't know how happy I was to discover that Lucky Number Slevin gets to see the light of day in Kuching. Lucky me! I'm not a fan of Josh Hartnett, mind you. But I saw the trailer of this clever flick on TV just after watching my other favorite (so far this year) movie, Inside Man, on the big screen recently.

    To begin with, Slevin boasts an impressive ensemble cast playing very interesting roles. Add that with a witty script and solid portrayal of each character, Slevin was truly a joy to watch.

    Like the story mechanics (well, almost) of Inside Man, the audience needs to pay attention from the very beginning of the movie for clues. Of course, if you're observant enough, you'll probably figure out the ending halfway through the film. Actually, in my personal opinion, Slevin was easier to figure out than Inside Man.

    The story opens with the unlucky Slevin (Josh Hartnett), who had lost his job, caught his girlfriend cheating, and suffered a broken nose after getting mugged shortly upon his arrival in New York to visit his friend Nick.

    Nick was missing when Slevin arrived at the apartment. He meets Nick's inquisitive neighbor, a beautiful coroner named Lindsey (Lucy Liu), and hits it off with her. Just when Slevin thinks he is rid of his bad luck streak, things start to go downhill again—except worse.

    Due to a serious case of mistaken identity, Slevin crossed paths with two rival crime lords who live across the street from each other: The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley). You see, Nick owed money to these men and now has the clueless Slevin deeply involved. But Slevin is a quick learner and tries to play his cards right to con his way out and save his skin.

    To make matters more complicated, dangerous assassin Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) and hard-nosed detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci) tip the scale further.

    With a closer look, Slevin seems very Tarantino-esque in many ways. The film goes on a twist-and-turn route, revealing hints along the way. Sarcasm and clever repartee rule the dialogue with superb delivery from the actors. Cinematography tilts a little on the artsy side and the film setting has a cool retro feel to it despite being a present-day story. It is also quite film noir, actually.

    I find it interesting to see two seasoned actors, Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley (um, I mean, Sir Ben Kingsley), play such deliciously classy villians in Slevin. After all, Freeman played God in Bruce Almighty and Sir Kingsley was Ghandi.

    Lucy Liu is simply adorable and perky in her role while Bruce Willis is smooth and enigmatic. The star here is indeed Josh Hartnett, whose Slevin has a bad sense of timing with wisecracks and also doesn’t seem to know when to keep his mouth shut. Still, he is the irrepressible hero you will root for.

    Like I said earlier, Slevin looks like a Tarantino movie (perhaps this is director McGuigan's attempt to pay homage to Tarantino?) with a good amount of gore in between the scenes—but not too graphic for the masses.

    Again, Lucky Number Slevin is one fun movie you should watch. I recommend it!

    Georgette Tan writes for a Malaysian newspaper. She is fond of movies, long walks on the beach and clichés.
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