He may know a few card tricks, but in the movie “Sleight”, Bo, played by Jacob Latimore, has been dealt a bad hand in life and has to maneuver through it as best he can while caring for his little sister. He’s a street magician by day, but involved in illegal activity at night to make ends meet. His nighttime hustle becomes tense AF, but this magician literally has a trick up his sleeve to even the odds.
“Sleight” is a unique film with a relatively unknown, yet amazingly talented cast. Latimore is best known for his singing (ask your teenage daughters), but he’s quickly emerging as a brilliant young all-around performer. He gives his character Bo an innocence that you don’t see in most hustlers. He loves his ability to fascinate people with his magic, but at the same time, abhors his night gig. His skills to walk that fine line and capture the audience’s emotions speak volumes about his acting prowess.
Seychelle Gabriel plays Holly, Bo’s love interest. She’s not just your cliché love interest, either. Her character has layers, which makes her plight more intriguing and only enhances the chemistry between her and Latimore.
The breakout actor is Storm Reid. She’s a 13 year-old, who holds her own with the grown-ups scene for scene.
Dulé Hill plays Bo’s shady boss Angelo. Now, Hill is probably the most experienced out of the cast and his take on his character is, well, interesting. I won’t go in depth about his role, but I think he does the most on a character that really doesn’t require it. I believe he wanted to make it less stereotypical, but in doing so, made the character adequately weird and extremely loquacious. The acting is one thing, the storyline however…
“Sleight” lacks cohesion. Although the movie is short, about 90 minutes, it feels much longer than that because there are a lot of scenes that are long when they should be short and vice versa.
I’ll give you a good example; the opening scene lasts maybe 5 to 10 seconds, but there’s not much attention focused on it. Later, like MUCH later, this plays a pivotal role, but that scene is almost meaningless because the opening scene should’ve lasted longer, not reduced to essentially B-roll footage.
In contrast, the 2nd act seems to drag on forever, action here and there, but when it subsides, it subsides! Another drawback is the believability, or lack thereof, in the characters. Yeah, I know I said that the cast is amazing and they are. The problem lies in the scenarios they’re faced with.
Bo does some not-so-legal stuff, but he doesn’t have the “tools” necessary for that job. Most clients in that line of work aren’t trusty customers. That’s like me being a writer, but not using a dictionary. Sooner or later, I’m gonna need it as a backup. There’s also a confrontational scene in the 2nd act that is too dayum wordy! You know how two people do more talking than fighting? Yeah.
All-in-all, “Sleight” is an entertaining film. I think the 25-and-under crowd will enjoy it. It’s a good date night movie for the youngsters. Too many plot holes, but a very suspenseful movie.
I’m giving “Sleight” a morning/midday co-sign. The film uses sleight-of-mind tricks to draw you in, but does it keep you focused? Slightly.
Watch the trailer below.
Have you seen the film or do you plan to check it out?