Geek Review: Sleight

Sleight premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and it’s something that seems both familiar and new.

What is it but an indie superhero movie?

Bashir “Bo” Wolfe gave up a promising future at college to care for his kid sister Tina after the death of their mother.  Bo has some skills at electrical engineering and mechanical physics, but the demands of taking care of Tina meant college was out of the question.  A year after his mother’s death, Bo spends his days as a street magician, wowing audiences with card tricks and levitation, and by nights he’s selling drugs for a seemingly-amicable dealer named Angelo.

As it turns out, Angelo isn’t so amicable.  And Bo has another secret:  there’s some sort of electro-magnet implanted in his arm.  He built and somehow installed it himself, and that’s how he’s able to levitate small metallic objects and some other tricks involving moving metal around.  While out on his day job he meets Holly, a part time college student who works out of a bakery in the neighborhood he plies his more legal trade in.  The two start dating and between that and Angelo showing his true colors, Bo decides he wants out of the drug game.  But such things are never that easy…

This is a fairly cliched movie.  The thing is, it combines cliches of two different genres, the indie crime genre of the kid wanting out of the game with the superhero origin story, into something a bit different.  Bo may be the most low-key cinematic superhero since Bruce Willis in Unbreakable.  There wasn’t much truly revolutionary about the movie, but I enjoyed it for what it was, namely a fairly competently produced movie with some charismatic central performances that has a hero that seems like he could have maybe fit into the Now You See Me movies with a touch of Iron Man.  A nice time at the movies, but nothing big, flashy, or in many ways original aside from the mishmash of the two genres that make it what it is.  Eight out of ten unwanted meat cleavers.

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