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Lucky Number Slevin

Just another Pulp Fiction wannabe
By BRETT MICHEL  |  April 5, 2006
2.0 2.0 Stars
ELABORATE MISDIRECTION: Lucky Number Slevin.“It all starts with a horse,” begins wheelchair-bound Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis), describing a “Kansas City shuffle” — hipster slang for elaborate misdirection, this film’s MO. Josh Hartnett’s Slevin is a cocky victim of mistaken identity and (contrary to the film’s title) cosmic bad luck. Trapped in the middle of a gang war between the Boss (Morgan Freeman) and the Rabbi (Ben Kingsley), Slevin has three days to pay someone else’s $96,000 debt or else kill the Rabbi’s son, the Fairy. Lucy Liu’s convenient coroner wanders in as an amiable love interest; Mr. Goodkat — now on two feet — manipulates everything. Once the inevitable face-off between the Boss and the Rabbi finds them facing in opposite directions, Jason Smilovic’s too-clever script overexplains the obvious, exposing director Paul (Wicker Park) McGuigan’s fitfully entertaining “Kansas City shuffle” as just one more Pulp Fiction pretender.
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