luckynumberslevinblu‘Lucky Number Slevin’ borrows from Quentin Tarantino’s formula of film making, but adds more substance, making this a rather unique film. ‘Lucky Number Slevin’ is a very stylish film that crime noir written all over it. The best advice that I can give while viewing the film, sit back and enjoy the thrill ride that director Paul McGuigan takes us through. Trying to figure things out in the beginning is going to make you rack your brain. The pieces begin to fall one by one as the story progresses with an ending that will be a bit of shocker with all the twists and turns in-between. The film did very well at the box office with a worldwide gross of $55 million dollars and DVD sales in the $26 million dollar range.

The film opens up with Mr. Goodkat (Bruce Willis) talking to an unknown man at the airport. It seems like a somewhat casual conversation at first since you wouldn’t expect any mayhem at an airport. Mr. Goodkat starts telling a story to this unknown gentleman about how a family was gunned down due to a father’s gambling problem. The Boss would have the entire family murdered including the son due to the father not being able to repay his debt.

Slevin (Josh Hartnett) catches his girlfriend cheating on him with another man. Slevin decides to leave to go visit his friend Nick Fisher in New York. Once Slevin gets there, he is mistaken for his gambling friend Nick Fisher. Two black henchman come knocking at his door telling him that he must come with them because the boss wants to talk to him. Slevin doesn’t know that Nick Fisher (Sam Jaeger) owes this mob boss $96,000 from gambling. The Boss wants his money, or else his son will be killed. There are two mob bosses in New York, one of African American descent by the name of The Boss (Morgan Freeman) and another of Jewish faith by the name of The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley). There are two factions that Slevin has to contend with. While all this takes place, Mr. Goodkat appears in various scenes throughout the film. It makes you wonder as to whose side he is in this war.

Slevin meets the neighbor Lindsey (Lucy Liu) next door whom is a coroner. The chemistry between both Liu and Hartnett works very well. Lindsey pops in at the right moments during her scenes as the girl next door. Then Lindsey wants to play detective to solve the murder after Slevin tells her about it. This time, Slevin gets paid a visit again by mobsters, except this time it is the Jewish mob. These guys are much rougher than The Boss’s henchman. He finds out that Nick Fisher owes The Rabbi money from gambling.

As a viewer you sit there wondering what a wild ride that this film is and its direction. I have viewed this film numerous times since its initial release in 2006. I am amazed with each single viewing.

The cast was excellent in this film bringing comic relief in some scenes, while still staying serious. Hartnett and Liu do a good job playing the lead roles here in Slevin. I can say the same with Liu as she is very warm and entertaining in her role. With such a good supporting cast like Willis, Freeman, and Kingsley play their roles so well that not once do you feel like anyone is dragging down the film.

Print/Audio Quality
The print is presented in 1080p/AVC VC-1 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is identical to the HD DVD transfer, which was good to begin with. Color is vibrant and bold in this transfer. A very good example of that is the color red, when blood splats on the floors, walls, and in the air. The film is so colorful that it is very good in details. There are also moments though where the transfer does lack in a few areas. Lighting was a problem in a few scenes where there appeared to be too much light in the background. There is also some grain in the film which is subtle, but there are times where it is heavier in certain darker scenes.

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. When the HD DVD released, it came with a Dolby Digital Plus audio mix. The TrueHD mix is an improvement in the soundfield and even more with the dialogue presentation. One of the issues I had with the DD+ mix was that the dialogue was rather low and I had to increase and lower the volume quite a bit when I owned the film on HD DVD. With the Blu-ray, dialogue comes through loud and clear offering a well balanced mix. The surrounds are getting all kinds of engagement via effects like gunshots, fighting, and the soundtrack.

Special Features

  • Commentary with director Paul McGuigan
  • Commentary with actors Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu
  • Making Lucky Number Slevin
  • Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Paul McGuigan
  • Alternate Ending [HD]
  • Theatrical Trailer [HD]
  • An Intimate Conversation with Josh Hartnett and Lucy Liu Featurette [HD]

‘Lucky Number Slevin’ is a very good noir film that was engaging from start to finish. I highly recommend the film on Blu-ray as it sports a good transfer and upgraded audio from the HD DVD. It is one fun thrill ride as the cast does a superb job with their roles. It is not everyday that clever noir films come along like ‘Lucky Number Slevin’.