Location: Los Angeles, California

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Not So Lucky

"Lucky Number Slevin"
Review by John Young

It takes considerable talent to make a film as atrocious as “Lucky Number Slevin,” and look at the talent involved: Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, and Lucy Liu. How did all these accomplished actors sign up for such manipulative dreck?

Hartnett: Well, I was excited by the opportunity to play a completely obnoxious prick named Slevin. My character is quite the unlucky fellow. Not only is his nose broken twice, but he also gets accidentally involved in a NYC mob war between two crime bosses, The Boss and The Rabbi.

Freeman: I’m The Boss, the leader of a black gang. I believe my son was murdered by The Rabbi’s minions, and for retaliation, I’m going to force a completely innocent guy named Slevin to shoot The Rabbi’s son. When my character is not killing people, he takes pleasure in playing chess and reciting philosophical dissertations.

Kingsley: My character, The Rabbi, just so happens to be a rabbi. Talk about a coincidence! The whole script it stuffed with wonderful little self-conscious jokes like that.

Freeman: Oh, I definitely agree Sir Ben. I particularly enjoyed my character’s monologue about the “Shmoo.” You know, that loveable cartoon creature shaped like a bowling pin.

Hartnett: Honestly, Morgan, I had no idea what you were talking about when you delivered that speech.

Freeman: Neither did I. But did it ever sound witty!

Willis: I joined the cast because I viewed the character of Mr. Goodkat as an opportunity to stretch my acting range. I mean, I’ve never had the chance to play an assassin before.

Liu: As Lindsey, the inquisitive yet attractive girl next door, I get to fall in love with Josh Hartnett’s character. I mean, who would have seen that coming? Speaking of surprises, this film’s twist-ending will blow your mind!

Hartnett: Oh definitely. The film continuously deceives the audience by having its characters do completely illogical things. I love how the ending makes sense for about thirty seconds. After that, you start realizing how many plot holes the script contained.

Kingsley: And don’t forget the social commentary! Not only does the film contain an offensive portrayal of Jews, but it also paints African Americans and gays in a negative light. That’s spreading the love, if you ask me.

Freeman: Visually, the film is a wonder. Paul McGuigan, the director, uses jarring colors that come across as being stolen from a 1970s game show.

Hartnett: I think his stylistic control has drastically improved since his last magnum opus, “Wicker Park.”

Liu: And those special effects! There’s this one CGI shot where the camera pans across a street from one building’s window to another. McGuigan loved the effect so much that he decided to use it twice!

Willis: I adore the sequence shot in black-and-white with a markedly low shutter speed. The result looks like something that went through a cheese grater.

Hartnett: Bruce, since when did you start using the word “adore?”

Freeman: Perhaps he has been bitten by the “Shmoo.”


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