Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: SLEIGHT

And finally, my fourth review for the one movie I saw this weekend that happens to be my favorite of the bunch and the one I would only truly recommend making time out of your way to check it out: SLEIGHT. Some critics are calling it Chronicle meets Iron Man or The Prestige meet Chronicle or Juice/any urban gang film meets Chronicle or some other bullshit hybrid film combo that will take the place of an unqiue worded review about the film itself, which is it’s own thing. Slap me shocked that this didn’t get more marketing and more theaters because it is one heck of an entertaining film that plays by its own rules and is smart as fuck. Not surprised that this was brought to us by one of the producers of Get Out.

If I could describe the film I would call it a thriller with a urban magical technological twist. Yep, that descriptive. I don’t want to go too much into spoilers because the trailers for this film are a bit misleading and for good reason. If you’ve seen the trailer it looks like it is about a drug dealer by night, magician/street performer by day, but one that has superpowers. Well it is and it isn’t, but one thing is for sure, this film IS NOT Chronicle. There is more to his “powers” that meets the eye, so much so in fact that I was prepared to be disappointed if the kid actually did have supernatural powers that helped him with his magician tricks and his pickle in his drug dealings that he gets into. But it’s not, it has a down to Earth type explanation that I won’t describe for you here. Safe to say that I was impressed.

This is the tightest 90 minute little thriller that I have seen in quite some time and I enjoyed ever millisecond of it. A great storytelling movie like this can only be heightened by its performances, and that is exactly what Sleight does. The performances are freaking amazing. Jacob Lattimore as Bo, the lead, is compelling and has such a clear arc and different approaches to his character for each twist and turn it blew me away. There is this one scene where he is talking about a trick he saw from a magician as a kid, so mesmerizing because Lattimore just knocks it out of the park. But there is another performance that impressed me even more and that was from Dule Hill, who plays Bo’s drug dealing boss Angelo.

Don’t know who Dule Hill is by name, okay, how about the guy that played Gus on Psych, Shawn’s best friend and co-lead? Yep, that guy. Can’t imagine seeing Gus with a gun, playing a bad ass drug lord throwing out F-bombs left and right and hitting and killing people? Neither did I until I saw this film. I am hoping this film catches on and maybe he’ll get more projects other than playing the “aw shucks partner” in films and television shows. Here he is intoxicating, masterful, and filled with so much suspense I was on the edge of my seat every time he was on screen.

The movie also sticks the landing at the end, not going out on an all out magical techno brawl action sequence but a finale that is down to Earth, just the right amount of action, and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. This film just has a good story, you get a urban thriller, a romance subplot, a family subplot, all with a cool little twist to make it it’s own. Please do find a theater it is playing in and go see it. I thought it was very smart take on what it was trying to do without ripping something off like Chronicle. I repeat: this film is not Chronicle. Go see it.

 

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