Lucky Number Slevin, renamed for the German/USA DVDs asLucky # Slevin(and also known asThe Wrong Manin Australasia), is a 2006 crime thriller film written by Jason Smilovic , directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Josh Hartnett , Bruce Willis , Morgan Freeman , Ben Kingsley , Stanley Tucci , and Lucy Liu . Set in New York City, the plot focuses on the paths of Slevin Kelevra (Hartnett), Lindsey (Liu), two feuding crime lords known as The Boss (Freeman) and The Rabbi (Kingsley), and a mysterious hitman known as Mr. Goodkat (Willis).
During the film's opening credits, two bookies are separately ambushed and murdered, their ledgers stolen from their bodies by the unseen killer. Elsewhere, a young black man walks out of a downtown building and is shot by a sniper.
In a bus terminal, a young man is approached by a man in a wheelchair,Goodkat( Bruce Willis ), who tells the story of Max and the Kansas City Shuffle . Around twenty years ago, Max borrowed money and bet on a fixed horse race. The horse fell before the finish line and Max, unable to pay, was murdered by the mobsters financing the race. To send a message they also arranged the murder of Max's wife and son. Goodkat concludes the story, revealing that the Kansas City Shuffle is when "they look left and you go right" and promptly snaps the young man's neck. He leaves the terminal with the body in the back of a truck.
In New York City, Slevin Kelevra ( Josh Hartnett ) is staying in his friend Nick Fisher's apartment nursing a broken nose. He answers the door, meeting neighbor Lindsey ( Lucy Liu ), who ducks in to borrow some sugar. Slevin relates that he is visiting after some recent bad luck and explains the broken nose as the result of a mugging. He confesses he has not seen Nick and that the apartment was unlocked when he arrived. Lindsey suggests that Nick may be missing and that she and Slevin should investigate together.
Lindsey leaves for work moments before Slevin is kidnapped by two black henchmen. They take him toThe Boss, a powerful crime lord leading an all-black crime syndicate. Mistaking Slevin for Nick, The Boss orders Slevin to repay a large gambling debt. It is revealed that the young black man assassinated in the opening credits is The Boss's son. Believing his rivalThe Rabbito be responsible, The Boss offers Slevin the opportunity to murder The Rabbi's homosexual son, YitzchokThe Fairy, as an alternative to payment. After Slevin leaves, Goodkat steps out of the shadows and it is revealed that The Boss has simultaneously hired him to kill The Fairy.
Slevin returns to the apartment but is shortly kidnapped again, this time by two henchmen from The Rabbi's all-Jewish crime syndicate. The Rabbi also mistakes Slevin for Nick and demands he repay another large gambling debt. As Slevin leaves, Goodkat again steps out of the shadows and it is revealed that he is enigmatically aware that Slevin is not Nick Fisher.
Slevin returns to The Boss and agrees to kill The Fairy. The Boss gives him three days and recommends that Slevin approach The Fairy romantically. Intercut with this conversation, Goodkat tells the Boss that he will kill Slevin after Slevin kills The Fairy, concealing both murders by making them look like a double suicide.
Slevin and Lindsey go out to dinner at The Fairy's favorite restaurant. Slevin approaches The Fairy in the restroom and arranges a future date. Slevin also meets Detective Brikowski, currently investigating The Boss and The Rabbi, but does not disclose his intended role as hitman. Returning home, Slevin and Lindsey's relationship develops and they spend the night together.
In the morning Slevin is hassled again by Brikowski but reveals only his name. That evening he is picked up by The Boss's henchmen in preparation for his date with The Fairy. As they leave it is revealed that The Rabbi's henchmen, keeping track of Slevin, have been shot.
Slevin arrives at The Fairy's apartment and promptly shoots him, nearly killing him. Goodkat appears behind Slevin and, in an apparent turn of events, finishes The Fairy off and leaves Slevin unharmed. Now revealed to be a team, Slevin brings the body of the bus terminal victim, revealed to be the true Nick Fisher, into the apartment while Goodkat kills The Fairy's bodyguards. Together they blow up the apartment and the bodies, thus concealing Slevin's false identity as Nick.
Goodkat kills the Boss's henchmen and takes him hostage while Slevin kidnaps the Rabbi. Both men awaken restrained to chairs in the Boss's penthouse. Slevin appears and explains the overarching twist: the ill-fated Max was Slevin's father, the mobsters who killed him were The Boss and The Rabbi, and Slevin's own murder was never completed as the hitman hired to do the job, revealed to be Goodkat himself, found compassion for him.
Twenty years later and with Goodkat's help, Slevin assumed the identity of Nick Fisher and killed The Boss's son and both mobster's bookies. As gang warfare loomed, both mobsters independently hired Goodkat, who insisted as a part of payment that both call in Nick's debts. Thus both Goodkat and Slevin gained access to the otherwise unreachable mobsters, allowing them to set up this final confrontation.
After this revelation Slevin kills The Boss and The Rabbi, asphyxiating them in the same manner by which they killed Max. At the same time Goodkat finds Lindsey at work and shoots her to protect his identity. Finally it is revealed that Detective Brikowski killed Slevin's mother when, as a young man, his own gambling debts were called in by the mobsters. Slevin kills Brikowski as the meaning of his chosen name "Slevin Kelevra" is revealed: "slevin" was the name of the ill-fated horse his father had bet on, and "kelevra" is Hebrew for "bad dog," mirroring Goodkat's name.
Sometime later at the bus terminal, Slevin is met by Lindsey. They embrace and it is revealed that Slevin, aware of Goodkat's intention to kill her, explained his true identity following their night together and helped stage her death. Goodkat appears at the terminal, apparently already aware of the trickery. Slevin explains himself by saying "I thought you wouldn't understand." Referencing his own decision to spare Slevin as a boy, Goodkat replies "I understood." (In an alternative ending, Slevin shoots and kills Lindsey while Goodkat looks on.)
The film closes with a flashback to Goodkat and young Slevin shortly after Max's death. Goodkat takes Slevin into his car and tells him that it will be a long time before they can return to New York. As they drive away, a hit song "Kansas City Shuffle" by Bennie Moten starts playing on the car's radio.