“Sleight” is a fairly clever title because its main character is a street performer. Unfortunately, it’s more ironic than anything else because the movie is devoid of the finesse required to keep you distracted from the film’s many shortcomings.
Jacob Latimore plays Bo, a High School prodigy, who has two jobs because he is taking care of his sister. Bo’s first job is performing card tricks for tourists on the street, at least one of which is physically impossible unless playing cards can go through solid objects, and the other is dealing drugs for Angelo, played by Dule Hill.
However, Angelo turns out to be a bad guy…
During the scene that Bo makes this stunning revelation, I was asking questions in my head about things like the sanity of multiple characters, how a man with such huge gaps in logic like Angelo could feasibly be in charge of a drug ring, and how could it possibly take Bo (someone who is supposedly a genius) this long to realize that his boss, the drug dealer with armed escorts, isn’t really such a good guy. Shortly after this completely unsurprising turn of events, Bo starts planning on leaving LA with his sister and new girlfriend Holly, played by Seychelle Gabriel.
Oh, and I still have no real idea how Holly could be interested in Bo. While Latimore and Gabriel’s chemistry was passable, their relationship felt completely unearned. I’m usually pretty forgiving with romance in movies, but I still have some standards.
Once Angelo realizes Bo’s intentions, he makes a couple of insane demands that Bo has no way of accomplishing in order to appease him. This was the point of no return for me. Almost all of the decisions the characters make from then on completely prevented me from caring about them. The main characters weren’t bad people, (although Bo has one scene where I was strongly rooting against him) but the choices they made were just plain silly.
In addition to his great intellect, Bo also has a unique twist to his magic tricks that I can’t really explain. One, because I would be going into spoiler territory, and two, well, it’s never really explained in a satisfactory way. It’s origin is ridiculous (not to mention impossible for a few reasons), the method of how Bo uses it brings up even more questions, and the logic behind its existence had me stifling laughter in the theater. Holly even states how ridiculous the inspiration for it is and Bo has no real response to it.
Sleight rarely manages to be entertaining either. Aside from about five minutes near the end, it is thoroughly boring during the majority of its runtime. Probably because I never found any reason to feel invested in the characters, story, or anything else for that matter.
I’m not sure what about Sleight disappoints me the most: having so many unanswered questions, or having zero interest in learning those answers.