Some hurts are relatively easy to recover from. Some wounds heal with time. And with others, the pain never goes away. There are people who learn to live with that pain, while some take an alternative route.
In this riveting crime thriller, we meet Slevin Kelevra (Josh Harnett), a young man who is experiencing the worst possible case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He goes to stay with his friend Nick (Sam Jaeger) after a series of unfortunate events befall him, only to find Nick gone and gangsters to whom Nick owes money sending their henchmen knocking at the door.
The feuding gangsters are The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley), who were best friends and partners at one time, but have been bitter rivals for over two decades. Each is so afraid of the other that they have remained behind ivory towers all these years. But when The Boss’ son is killed, breaking their unspoken agreement not to come for one another’s families, the Cold War is over and The Boss hires an assassin known only as Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) to kill The Rabbi’s son in retaliation.
Slevin is caught in the crossfire, left holding the bag. With Nick missing, and these two men, who believe him to be Nick, strangely fixated on making sure that he pays the debts owed them, they both use the fact that Nick owes them to manipulate him in their revenge schemes. The only bright spot for Slevin is Nick’s neighbour, Lindsey (Lucy Lui), who decides to help him find out what happened to Nick, and try to bring him back home before Slevin is killed.
While this plot is engrossing enough on its own merit, there is so much more to this tale than what meets the eye. Our protagonist is much more than he seems, and the audience gets an unforgettable lesson about both not ever judging a book by its cover, and the reality that we can never truly outrun the consequences of our actions.
With lots of mystery, questions, intrigue, action, and even a bit of romance pulled off seamlessly by Hartnett and Lui’s chemistry, Lucky Number Slevin is simultaneously an amazing thriller and quite different from any other film in that genre.
I give this one 4.75 stars.