I was a bit surprised with how Sleight turned out. I kept the advertising tagline in my head the whole time “Chronicle meets Iron Man”. I was confused as to why they said Iron Man. You will find that out early in the film. I will honestly say I expected something else with that reveal but it doesn’t take away from the indie feel and charming aspect of the film.
There are two kinds of people going to this film. Those who want to see a challenge of a young adult trying to do the right thing by doing the wrong thing in a down to earth take on life’s struggles in the bad streets of Los Angeles OR you want to watch him use his powerful gifts against the people holding him back as if he were a superhero.
If you happen to be the former, you will receive a touching story involving Bo (Jacob Latimore), a guy who is taking care of his younger sister after the death of their mother. He does everything he can to keep the two of them afloat which includes being a street performer as a magician or selling drugs on the side for his boss Angelo (Dulé Hill). When his side job gets a little messy and way in over his head, he has to turn to drastic measures to get himself out of trouble and make sure that he and his little sister are safe.
If you are the latter, you will get a taste of these special effects in a realistic way that would remind you of movies like Unbreakable and Chronicle, or even the TV show “Heroes”. You will not get the over the top theatrics you see in some of these superhero movies like in Marvel and DC has been releasing. I think in this case that is okay. This movie is not meant to be anything like it and it’s refreshing to see something different every once in a while.
After watching Jacob Latimore in Collateral Beauty I was very impressed with his acting and he was the standout star in this movie as well. I hope to see a lot more of him. His style of acting just always plays out as just a normal guy that you can relate to. As if he is being himself and just saying the lines given to him. I think that pays off with this role. You do invest and care for what happens to him. Who also stood out was the impressive and beautiful Storm Reid (12 Years A Slave) who plays his little sister Tina. She was very believable as the young sister forced to group up in the short time after losing her parents. As an actress, she holds her own on screen. The role of Bo’s love interest Holly (Seychelle Gabriel) has a little bit of a story to tell also. Director J.D. Dillard does a great job inserting her and her back story into the picture without taking away from the focal point of the film. Holly was a little bit too perfect for me as a character. She just seems a little too good to be true but the main point was to make you believe these two are right for each other with not much time to tell it.
The movie does drag a bit towards the third act as you are just waiting for him to use the gifts he possesses towards his adversaries and there are more than one occasion you think its going to happen and they give you more melodrama to take in before the big finale. It could bring out the entertainment value for some people. The overall dilemma he is going through with surviving as a young black man and the peer pressure of working for someone who can easily end your life and the bond you have with someone who has helped you out in the past. The fight to go against that guilt and obligation he feels as well as the struggle to survive in a dog eat dog world is visible here.
So back to those two types of people, you will either be satisfied with the amount of drama and simplistic story given to us with a superhero twist or you may be someone who felt they were underwhelmed with the lack of special effects they could have put in the movie to make it more fun. There are other movies you could be watching at this time but I wouldn’t say I wasted my time with this film. I can say I have my new Halloween costume for 2017.