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Film Review: SLEIGHT Fails To Make Magic

Film Review: SLEIGHT Fails To Make Magic

“Here it is a year and I’m still a drug dealer.” This is one of the memorable lines from a new production by WWE Studios, yes, the same WWE that has catapulted names like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and John Cena to superstardom outside of the ring. WWE is no stranger to film production as they have been producing their own movies since 2002, not necessarily to good reviews.

Most of their movies involve one of their wrestling stars in some way or the other; more often than not they are the lead character of the film. If you have never seen one of these, let’s just say their in ring acting does not translate well. This is where their latest release is different, as it is one of the few marketed to theaters and not straight to video, Sleight is WWE’s attempt to ride the superhero wave.

Jacob Latimore plays Bashir ‘Bo’ Wolfe who is a brilliant mind with a talent for engineering and a love for the world of magic. WWE has been under some scrutiny for its questionable issues with its non-white wrestlers so it would seem this is perfect timing to release a film focused on a young black man struggling to follow his passion and support his younger sister.

This finds him taking up drug dealing and street magic to make ends meet, but as much as I wanted to connect to his struggle even doubly so as a minority in a lead role, I just couldn’t. His personal story seemed stale and not some thing even near believable. In a movie where the hero is a drug dealing David Copperfield, it is hard to accept some of the aspects that the film pushed upon me, even if they were key components to moving the film along.

Without revealing the very few details that made Sleight interesting, we find out that much like what the trailer revealed, Bashir has some kind of power. This power though is not in the way you are thinking, it is not a true “superpower”, but it still is one he wields in his fight against the somewhat unbelievable antagonist Angelo, played by Dulé Hill. I found myself often yawning and checking my watch to see how close to the movies end I was.

I could simply be seeing this through the eyes of a boring adult since the younger audience present enjoyed it and were chatting with their parents about the film as they left the theater. With that in mind, I have to say I was unimpressed with Sleight as WWE’s first attempt at a superpower movie, but I look forward to them taking another crack at it, as they are another fresh imagination to the steadily growing world of super-humans.

Sleight is in theaters now.

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