‘Lucky Number Slevin’ Review: The Kansas City Shuffle

Posted in The Screening Room by - January 28, 2015

Today’s entry into Kulture Shocked’s Staff Writer’s Top 5 comes from Jacob Campbell. Probably the best thing about doing this month’s reviews has been getting a feel for the staff writer’s movie preferences, which has been enlightening to say to the least. Until we all came to Kulture Shocked none of us knew who each other were, save maybe a select few. So getting to know what these guys like, what they watch, how they think has been fun and by now I should be able to pull off a Kansas City Shuffle on any of them. What is a Kansas City Shuffle you might ask? In the words of Mr. Goodkat, “a Kansas City Shuffle is where everybody looks right and you go left.” It’s just classic misdirection and this is the premise of Lucky Number Slevin

A lot of people apparently have problems with this film and I don’t really understand why. The critic consensus from Rotten Tomatoes, says this film is “Trying too hard to be clever in a Pulp Fiction kind of way…succumbs to a convoluted plot, overly stylized characters and dizzying set design” and then they give Lucky Number Slevin a “rotten” rating at 51%.  There are two things that get said a lot here at Kulture Shocked. One, it’s hard to review good movies, and two, Rotten Tomatoes isn’t always right. I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion but as much as I tend to agree with Rotten Tomatoes, they are not the end all be all.

This movie is fantastic. Yes, the plot is complex, but it’s not convoluted or distracting. The characters are developed at a wonderful pace along with the set design being gorgeous. There is a reason why New York City is chosen to be the setting of many of Hollywood’s productions; it’s iconic and has such a variety of color. The interior sets, which basically boil down to two apartments and two top floor offices are simple yet magnificent.

The knock out punch for his film is the cast. Lucky Number Slevin stars Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, and Stanley Tucci. The chemistry throughout the cast is amazing. The mentor/apprentice relationship of Hartnett & Willis, Liu as the love interest to Hartnett, and Freeman & Kingsley being old friends now mortal enemies creates such a rich environment for story telling that it baffles me that there are so many nay-sayers to this film.

If you like films that are thoroughly clever, visual appealing, and tell a great story, then you need to check out Lucky Number Slevin. Disregard Rotten Tomatoes, you won’t regret it.

Final Say: Watch It

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