Blerd Film Club: Sleight

 
I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally watch Sleight. I suppose I just didn't want to be disappointed. It comes from WWE Studios, and I'm a fan of pro wrestling. The movie is about drug dealing, and superheroes. I write about drug dealers, and superheroes. Seeing that the budget was only reported at $250,000 and Dulé Hill is probably half of that might have been telling me not to rush. Well, now I'm kicking myself because it's good.

The film starts with Bo doing some incredible magic tricks to earn money on the street. He then picks up his little sister from school and cooks her dinner. We learn that both of their parents died and Bo skipped out on a full scholarship to care for Tina. By night, he dates Holly and sells drugs for the charismatic and enigmatic Angelo. We also learn that Bo has implanted an electromagnet into his arm which allows him to perform the tricks, and basically gives him a super power.

Unfortunately, a man named Maurice has moved onto their turf and as Angelo put it, acting like they don't exist. Angelo and his crew force Bo to go along to confront Maurice. It seems to go well after Angelo beats one of Maurice's "coworkers." Then Maurice starts selling drugs again and they take Bo along to kidnap him. Angelo forces Bo to cut off Maurice's hand, then rewards Bo with a kilo of cocaine. Unfortunately, Bo has forgotten the rules of the game and cut the kilo into two. Angelo finds out and he wants the $15,000 that the kilo cost, $15,000 for the kilo Bo made, and $15,000 for the emotional trauma of being robbed by his apprentice. Things get messy from there, and Bo has to turn into a full blown super hero.

I'm not sure what to say, this a really good movie. For $250,000 there's some great effects used. They manage to show what they need to without going overboard. While there's not the jaw dropping scenes that standard Marvel, DC, Valliant and Image content have these days, there's enough to get the point across and make you wonder. We don't need to see the walls crumble to know things got serious, just let the lights flicker for a moment, show some wounds from the power usage. There aren't a ton of actors, but everyone plays their role well. Dulé Hill steals the show as Angelo. 

Nobody is a bad actor in this, but Hill is just levels beyond everyone else. That's fair, he's been acting longer than most of the cast has been acting and he isn't old. He just has the experience to outshine everyone else, even playing a somewhat goofy drug dealer who sometimes speaks like a mean girl and uses "gosh." He's great at playing a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde character where one moments he's legit fun and giddy, then he's beating someone senseless and goes right back. It doesn't seem like an act, you realize Angelo might really have a split personality. The fact that he dominates his role, makes the film great. This film doesn't work without a strong villain, and Angelo provides that. On top of that, he doesn't even see himself as the villain because as far as he's concerned Maurice and Bo have robbed him, which is technically true. 

J. D. Dillard directed and he wrote it alongside Alex Theurer. Dillard doesn't have a ton of work under his belt, but I'm interested. This is my kind of story. Dark, with just enough hope to keep you enthralled. Do I was wish there was more? Yes, this is the kind of stuff I love. There's no super deep meaning to this. Sometimes life takes twists and turns that lead you to do strange things. The movie is better than it has any right to be and I love it for that. If you're like me, and have been putting it off for far too long, go check it out. 

You can check out some of my short stories at 12 AM Fiction or if you like vampires follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast if you enjoy pro wrestling.
Blerd Film Club: Sleight Blerd Film Club: Sleight Reviewed by Darrell S. on Sunday, February 07, 2021 Rating: 5

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