by Hope Madden
Bo (Jacob Latimore) is the world’s most wholesome drug dealer. And that’s fine, because apparently, dealing drugs in LA mainly means picking up harmless partygoers and throwing some stash to a club manager with a demanding clientele.
But Bo doesn’t want to be a dealer at all. He’s really a magician and a huge science buff who could have gone to college on scholarship (science, not magic). But when his mom died unexpectedly, he needed to take care of his little sister. And that meant making more than you can pull in by entertaining tourists with – literally the most spectacular set of street magic tricks you’ll ever see.
He’d definitely have a show by now – good looking kid like him, performing feats like these? He’d at least be making enough in tips to cover rent.
Just as things take off with a new girlfriend, ol’ drug kingpin Angelo (a seriously miscast Dulé Hill) pushes Bo into more dangerous territory, things escalate, there’s this electromagnet in his arm – wait, what?
Yes, Bo has fitted himself with an electromagnet. It’s a little like that cool glowy thing in Iron Man’s chest, except it’s more like a festering, infected thing in Bo’s shoulder.
Sleight is basically a superhero’s origin story wrapped inside a toothless crime drama bubble-wrapped with magic.
Co-writer/director JD Dillard has his hands full trying to pull that trick off. The pace is too slow for action, the characters too one-dimensional and (aside from this one meat cleaver scene) innocuous for a crime thriller.
And that whole magic thing – well, the movie’s a bit of a mess.
Plot holes, missed opportunities and a toothless approach to conflict leave you wondering whether this could have been – it certainly should have been – a stronger film.