The first time I saw Lucky Number Slevin was with a friend as a teenager and it blew me away. I'd seen a few similar movies, but the whole twisting, turning, frenetic film work just left me enthralled. I've seen it a couple of times since, but probably not for almost a decade, so I was a little reticent going in. Luckily (badum-tish) I still really enjoyed the film. There are bits which aren't as amazing as I remember, but overall it's still hugely entertaining and a lot of fun to watch the story weave itself together.
I will say that a large part of that success is undoubtedly the casting. Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu – this movie has serious star power! Even outside the big names, the supporting cast are all excellent as well, neatly bringing a wide range of mad-cap caricatures to life. Because in many ways, that's what Lucky Number Slevin is: a caricature. It's a borderline parody of action films, yet it definitely isn't attempting humour (nor is it "so bad it's good" or hilariously over-serious). It walks a neat line between poking a little fun at the genre and just embracing it, all whilst creating a visually arresting, utterly ridiculous adventure that just holds your attention and delivers one hell of a punch (even if Alison worked it out way too quickly 😂).
Josh Hartnett, in particular, is perfect throughout the film. Knowing the ending, there are some moments where the plot nicely sidesteps potential holes, and if you know what to look for you realise that it's too improbable that it keeps happening, but his performance sells you on the false reality anyway. Visually, I was impressed that the movie still looks great. The actual CGI work is stylised enough to be fine, whilst the generally over-the-top nature of the film lets them get away with some absurd things. There was one scene in which Hartnett and Liu appear to actually be sped up whilst talking to each other that was a little weird. I think it's done deliberately to increase the pacing of the scene, but I'm not sure it achieves anything more than distraction.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed watching Lucky Number Slevin again and am glad to see that it can sit proudly alongside the likes of Snatch and Layer Cake as fun watches with great direction and a fast-paced, intriguing plotline that manages to stick the landing.