SLEIGHT (2017) : Movie Review
SLEIGHT : The last time WWE Studios picked up the distribution rights to a movie NOT featuring one of its own wrestlers, it was OCULUS. Smart move–it was a terrific horror film and a sizable hit. So their acquisition of SLEIGHT caught my attention. I knew it was about a street magician and that it was being pitched as something in the ‘superhero’ realm… but as WWE was giving it a theatrical shot instead of sending it straight to disc, I once again gave them the benefit of the doubt. [Read: SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2015) : Movie Review]
Well… it’s no OCULUS. And it’s not really a superhero film, either, although you can make the case for fantastic elements depending on how much you want to buy into the believability of the gadgetry that ultimately takes over.
Jacob Latimore is Bo. He’s a young genius who recently turned down a scholarship because he had to take care of his little sister after losing both of his parents. He’s also an aspiring Houdini and is doing all right as a street musician. And… he’s a drug dealer. Because that’s where the real money is. And he thought he could do that “just for a little while” until things got better. And he thinks if he makes “just one more” big score he can move on to a better life and be done with all that. And he works for a guy who won’t take no for an answer and who keeps dragging him in deeper. Especially now that he has a girlfriend (Seychelle Gabriel). And did I mention he’s taking care of a little sister?
You’ve seen this one so many times before it isn’t even worth counting. But the magic is a nice touch. And so is the conceit of an electromagnet that Bo has managed to install under his own skin. Except when the bad guys get to his sister (did I mention that he has a little sister to take care of?) and he finally has to visit his old mentor to find a way to really beef up that magnetic power… and the film grinds to a screeching halt. [Read: THE HUNGER GAMES–MOCKINGJAY PART 2 (2015) : Movie Review]
Hey, it’s quite well-acted and, like I said, the magic IS a nice touch. It’s up to you to decide how much you want Bo to get away with the drug money, the other stolen money and the acts of violence and mutilation that he performs under duress (yes, he actually pulls a “Remo D. Moment” on a rival dealer because his boss makes him do it in one of the stronger scenes). Because, you know, he is a nice guy at heart. And he has a little sister to take care of. And a girlfriend to rescue from HER own downbeat existence while he’s at it.
Nice try, but I was really hoping for more. Now, the metal fillings in the guy’s teeth? THAT was a nice touch, too. Sorry for the spoiler.