Directed by Paul McGuigan, starring Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Lucy Liu, Stanley Tucci and Bruce Willis.
Scottish filmmaker Paul McGuigan ('Gangster No 1', 'The Reckoning') goes for the violence in-your-face style here, which whiffs of diluted Tarantino. He teams up again with Hartnett, having recently worked with him on the tepid 'Wicker Park' - a remake of stylish French flick 'L'Appartement'.
McGuigan's latest work, 'Lucky Number Slevin', is a twisty thriller revolving around an alleged case of mistaken identity. Life is going belly up for Slevin (Hartnett), and he flees to New York to stay with a friend, but when he gets there he finds a suspiciously empty apartment with a front door swinging open. It turns out his missing mate went wild at the bookies, and now owes quite a bit of money to the two biggest crime lords in New York.
As Slevin's wallet was stolen that morning, he cannot show any ID to the kindly gangsters who show up looking for their cash, and after they re-arrange his face, Slevin is dragged off to meet his friend's creditors.
Enter the feuding top dogs of the NYC crime scene. The Boss (Freeman) is willing to waive the debt if Slevin carries out a risky favour with the help of nasty assassin Mr Goodkat (Willis - slick), while Schlomo, or the Rabbi (Kingsley), just wants his cash, and fast.
Unlucky Slevin finds himself dragged into the NYC underworld, being closely watched by both of the crime lords' minions and by detective Brickwork (Tucci), though relief comes when he hits it off with cutesy neighbour Lindsey (Liu).
Kingsley and Freeman shine and there is a great scene where they (literally) go head to head. Liu charms and provides a few laughs as opposed to her usual high kicks. Hartnett has some decent one-liners, and in the first half pulls off the character, though he doesn't convince as the plotline takes a turn for the absurd.
Overall, despite a reputable cast, this self-satisfied, glossy number clocks in as just watchable. The storyline, which has more twists than a curly wurly, will hold your attention, but once all the numerous loose ends are tied up, it fails to satisfy.