The International Writers Magazine: Movie
Number Number Sleven (Opens April
7th 2006 USA)
Directed by Paul McGuigan (Gangster No 1)
Screenplay Jason Smilovic
A Sam North review
Wrong Time. Wrong Place. Wrong Number
If you, like me
have been waiting for a decent pacy thriller to turn up for some time,
then finally Lucky Number Slevin will get your attention. There's
some great character performances here and yes Bruce Willis is kind
of reprising a role he has done before, but then if you are going to
hire Bruce, then at least give him to guns to play with. Happily they
Josh Harnett plays
Slevin who is, as they say in New York at the wrong place, wrong time.
He is mugged on his way to visiting pal Nick Fisher, who just so happens
to live across the hall from Lucy Liu - who as it turns out is the local
coroner. Nick is missing, Josh moves in, but has hardly got shaved when
he's ordered to meet The Boss - Morgan Freeman- a crime boss who lives
in fear of assassination from Ben Kingsley, a rival gang boss called
the Rabbi (Who is in fact a Rabbi) who lives right across the
road in something like an apartment in Dracula's Castle.
The goons who collect Slevin refuse to believe he isn't Nick, who, it
seems owes a lot of money from gambling debts. But here's the deal,
Slevin will get his debts 'forgiven' if he will kill the Rabbi's son.
Liu and Josh Hartnett
has little choice but to accept this deal. He confesses all to Lucy
Liu who naturally wants to help but before anything can happen the
Rabbi''s goons also want a word with Nick. He is taken to see the
Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley who sports a sinister accent) and
he is generous too with his offer. Pay up or die seems to be the
choice. Naturally they want his cooperation in this matter. Absolutley
no one will accept that he isn't Nick and even if he isn't Nick,
they say he has to honor the debts? What is going on and who is
the mysterious Mr Goodcat (Bruce Willis) who skulks behind the Rabbi
one moment and The Boss the next? Is he setting up the hapless Slevin
as a fall guy.
is begiinning to regret he ever knew Nick Fisher and then there's a
third party who want a word with him, the cops, led by a cranky crazed
Detective played by Stanley Tucci, spying on all the crime bosses from
their eavesdropping truck on the street.
Sure Slevin gets
a break and a roll in the hay with Lucy Liu, but we just know this guy
isn't long for this world and he's got to come up with a major workable
plan to get out this situation. Is he going through with the idea of
killing the Rabbi's son? A lot of people are going to end up dead and
Slevin is top of the list here. Complex, sure? Are you taking notes?
Josh Harnett plays
Slevin perhaps a little too cool. But perhaps that's because he has
this innocent face that just doesn't really show much emotion. Ice-cool
sinister Willis is kept menacingly in the background for most of the
movie and the big acting guns come from Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley,
who have a lot of fun with their rival gang bosses, prisoners of their
own evil empires.
There are twists,
surprises, bluff and counter bluffs from Scottish director McGuigan
and it's great to see a gangster movie that makes you feel good for
a change. Go and expect surprises. You'll have fun.
the Lucky Slevin contest and win a ticket to the US Premier here
(US readers only)
North March 2006
Sam is the author of Diamonds-
The Rush of '72 and Curse
of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
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