A guy mistaken for someone else gets tangled in a mob war between two kingpins. Slevin is mistaken for Nick, a guy who apparently has some serious debts with two of the city's formidable mobsters. The story begins with a bookie Slim, who is killed, his ledger is taken. A bookie Benny is killed in his office, his ledger is taken as well. We meet Smith talking to a man at a bus depot who tells him that in 1979 there was a rigged horse race. Max and his son Henry will bet on a steroid-injected horse. However, the horse falls and loses. Max now owes thousands to a bookie named Roth. In the lot, he is abducted, his son is nowhere to be found. He is roughed up by henchmen and he sees that Roth is dead. He and his wife are brutally killed. Present day, after recounting this story, Smith kills the man at the bus terminal. We now meet Slevin, who is at his friend Nick's apartment. He is taken by two thugs, who mistake him for Nick and is brought to The Boss, a mobster. Nick owes him a lot of money, so he must now kill the rival gang's son Yitzchok, in retaliation for his son's murder by The Rabbi, this will be enough to pay back his debts. Smith is there, working for The Boss. Back at Nick's apartment, Slevin is again taken by two thugs, this time by the rival gang's leader The Rabbi. He is taken to his office and is told that he owes him money, and he has two days to come up with it. Smith is there as well, apparently working two sides. Privy to Slevin's predicament is Lindsey, a girl living in Nick's building, who seems very intrigued with Nick's situation and offers her own theories. Meanwhile, FBI-type men are watching the goings-on outside of the two gang's headquarters, the appearance of Slevin baffles them since he is a new face. They talk about Goodkat, a ruthless assassin being in town, therefore, something big must be going down. That night, Slevin and Lindsey have dinner, and Yitzchok is there. Since Yitzchok is gay, Slevin plans to ask him out on a date to get close to him, he says yes. Slevin and Lindsey go back to the apartment building, and have sex. Slevin goes to Yitzchok's for their date, and he shoots him. Smith arrives, and both Smith and Slevin run into Yitzchok's men, but are able to kill them. Yitzchok's apartment blows up. Meanwhile, each pair of henchmen by the rival bosses are all dead. Slevin meets with The Rabbi, but knocks him out. He takes him to The Boss' office, who is tied up. Slevin confesses the truth. Everything was planned from the beginning by Slevin and Smith. Slevin was the boy Henry in the 70s, Smith aka Goodkat, was the assassin assigned to kill him. Smith couldn't do it, and they have since masterminded the whole scheme to wipe out both mobsters, the ones who ordered the 1979 killings. Nick was just some guy who owed both mobsters money, Slevin and Smith found his name in both stolen ledgers mentioned in the beginning. He is the same guy Smith kills in the terminal. Smith and Slevin were also the ones who killed The Boss' son, the bookies, and all the henchmen. Smith doesn't want loose ends, and shoots Lindsey, but Slevin has arranged to fake her death. In the end, Smith learns she's alive, and sees her and Slevin off to be together.
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Best part of story, including ending:
There were so many details coming into play, it was a little hard to catch up, but the payoff "revelation" in the end ties it all together.
Best scene in story:
I like the flashback showing Slevin as Henry (the boy), and Smith who couldn't muster the courage to kill him.
Opinion about the main character:
Slevin is portrayed as the hapless victim, when in fact, he was in control the whole time.