Lucky Number Slevin Paul McGuigan

Lucky Number Slevin, which director Paul McGuigan admits may be the worst movie title ever, is a slick, fast-paced revenge flick that never coddles the viewer. Slevin Kelevra (Josh Hartnett) is the world’s unluckiest man; he’s lost his job, apartment and girlfriend, and on his first day in the city he gets mugged and loses his wallet. Then a case of mistaken identity sets off a string of events that entangles Slevin within a mob war between rival gangsters (Sir Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman) and finds him involved with a police detective (Stanley Tucci), a world-class assassin (Bruce Willis) and his flirtatious new neighbour (Lucy Liu). However, nothing is truly as it seems as the plot moves fast and furious through twists and turns towards its violent payoff, which is revealed bit by bit over the last third of the movie. While comparisons to Pulp Fiction are inevitable, Lucky Number Slevin has more in common with the pulp fiction and film noir of the ’ 30s and ’40s. The dialogue is snappy, funny and unlike Tarantino’s films, furthers the plot. While well-written and well-directed, the movie excels in its editing. Writer Jason Smilovic credits the editor for "rewriting” the film, and upon seeing the deleted scenes, which were cut in part because the "humour” would be "hard for an audience to recover from,” according McGuigan, or because "they revealed too much too soon,” it’s obvious the movie is better without them. The reworking of the film makes it more mysterious up until the final reveal. The evolution of the editing and writing process is further explored in two commentaries that show how things must be fluid and open to change throughout the whole production and post-production process. McGuigan is interesting during his director’s commentary, as is Smilovic during his few moments edited into the commentary of Liu and Hartnett, but the two actors tend to be a little boring in their reminiscing. Lucky Number Slevin is a fun ride towards a destination you only discover upon arriving, but you’ll be glad you made the trip. (Alliance Atlantis)