Lucky Number Slevin is what I like to think of as a “dorm room” movie. It’s both the type of movie whose posters will adorn the walls of countless undergrad living quarters, and also the type of film that seems like it was concocted by two stoned sophomores after watching Reservoir Dogs and said “heyyyy mannn, like, we totally could write a movie like that!” “Oh yeah dude! And we’ll have Morgan Freeman as a mob boss, and even a gangster rabbi!” Every single piece of dialogue is written in a way that it’s like the screenwriter stopped to say “hmm, what is the most badass thing that my character could say right now?” resulting in a jumbled mess of almost conversations with no real meaning.
“But it’s an action/gangster movie! It’s not supposed to be smart, it’s just supposed to be fun!”
True! And there is fun to be had at certain moments. But most of the film is wondering not what actually is going on with Slevin and the gangsters pulling his strings, but when it will be over. The two saving graces of the film are Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu, both who inject the film with some much needed levity, especially during their date scene. The rest of the movie it’s just so damn difficult watching Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Bruce Willis and Stanley Tucci (holy shit , talk about a wasted cast) try to put on their best Pulp Fiction impressions (ironically Willis was in Pulp Fiction, but maybe he was just jealous he didn’t’ get to play Vincent Vega and he thought maybe doing this movie would bring him some much needed Tarantino closure.)
We later find out in the film that NOT ALL IS AS IT SEEMS! That it was actually Slevin and Willis working together the whole time to get revenge! “Isn’t that clever? Bet you didn’t see that coming!” the film shouts at us while patting itself on the back, thinking its now in the upper echelon of gangster movies with its M. Night Shymalan-esque twist. The movie ends shortly after that twist, and we aren’t stunned or shocked at this new turn of events. But really, we just find ourselves asking why should we care?