Sleight is your run of the mill story of a teenager trying to survive a bad neighborhood so he and his sister can get out of the ghetto and move into a better neighborhood, so think 8 Mile with black teenage Magneto. The twist is that Bo (Jacob Latimore) has an electromagnet surgically implanted in his arm that allowed him to move metal objects in short distances. Now they don’t really play up why he has this device attached to him, but when they finally reveal why…it is stupid!
So Bo just decided to embed an infected Tony Stark like device onto his body because it helps him sell a magic trick to make money. The promotion of this film tries to convince you that there is some kind of supernatural element to it but honestly it’s barely featured in the film and his special arm is only used to be a tool for the movies ending. As for the story, Bo gets himself in trouble with a Drug Supplier (Dulé Hill) because he makes one bad move after another and finds himself with one week to turn 45 grand.
There are some things that this film does really well, such as its cinematography and its depiction of seedy Los Angeles. Sleight’s slow and methodical pace allows them to build tension by having just enough to offer in 90-minute runtime. The story is simple and the main conflict is a power struggle between rival dealers. The main character has a love interest and a little sister so you know someone is getting kidnapped to push the plot to the ending.
I wish the movie, expanded a little more with the ‘magical’ element of the story since it was the main selling point, it’s almost criminal they didn’t do more with it. As it is Sleight is a passable film that brings up the issue of surviving in a rough setting without giving you a good solution for getting out.