Willis, Hartnett are a match made in 'Slevin'

The Byzantine twists and turns in Paul McGuigan's explosive, uneven "Lucky Number Slevin" hinge on a case of mistaken identity. The affable layabout Slevin (Josh Hartnett) finds himself at the center of a gang war between New York's top crime lords: the Rabbi (Ben Kingsley) and the Boss (Morgan Freeman). Both think he is someone other than the innocent bystander he claims to be. Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci) isn't so sure either. Ultimately, neither are we.

Hartnett has been stuck in the young-adult heartthrob mode for some time now, but this comic thriller may launch him into meatier fare. He is in practically every scene, but because he keeps us off balance as to his identity, his presence never wears thin. His hang-loose athleticism is in stark contrast to the lethal robo-assassin maneuvers employed by Bruce Willis's Goodkat, a hired killer who is brought in by the bosses.

The screenplay by Jason Smilovic isn't always fresh, but there is one terrific idea: the Rabbi and the Boss, once close friends and associates and now mortal enemies, have been living in isolation for 20 years atop their respective apartment towers. Each hopes the other will venture outside and get bumped off. It's a baroque bit of business that Poe or Hawthorne might have come up with if they had gone Hollywood. Grade: B+

Rated R for strong violence, sexuality, and language.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK