Bashir “Bo” Wolfe (Jacob Latimore) is such a singular character that it’s hard not to wish JD Dillard had found a better story for him to be a part of. Bo is an intelligent young black man whose chance at a college scholarship was lost when he had to become the guardian for his younger sister after their mother’s death, he’s also a talented close-up street magician whose sleight-of-hand skills have made him a valuable distributor for local drug dealer Angelo (Dulé Hill). But the thriller that emerges from that character—as he tries to find an exit strategy from Angelo’s organization after a turf war turns violent—keeps grabbing at bits and pieces from far less interesting genre fare, introducing obligatory love interest, sophisticated-yet-abruptly-vicious crime boss and set pieces that never build the visceral intensity they seem designed for. Most surprisingly, Sleight takes an abrupt turn towards becoming a de facto origin story for a super-hero franchise. That might all sound weirdly appealing, but even Latimore’s charismatic work can’t overcome the sense of a filmmaker pushing too hard to make his movie awesome, when he hadn’t yet figured out how to make it good.
Director: J.D. Dillard
Producer: Eric Fleischman, Sean Tabibian, Alex Theurer, Michael Luisi and Jason Blum
Cast: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Sasheer Zamata, Storm Reid, Cameron Esposito, Dulé Hill, Tyga and Stacey Dash