Guest post by Dylan O’Connell
“What?” is a proper response to hearing that there is a movie called Slice starring Chance Bennett, a.k.a. Chance the Rapper, as a werewolf trying to solve a series of murders in a town haunted by 40,000 ghosts. This movie is strange, which benefits and hinders it throughout.
I refuse to give more plot explanation than that because I do not know that I can. The plot violently meanders with new plot points arising out of nothing and then it suddenly careens towards the end. So much of the world and characters go unexplained. It shares the same problem as Bright (2017), you cannot just add supernatural elements to our world and continue portraying it as our world, so much shit should be different. Another half hour of running time is needed to flesh out some of the details and provide some much needed characterization.
The cast of Slice is not bad and contains a few notable faces. Chance the Rapper is probably the selling point for most people, and he does provide a few chuckles, but I was much more excited to see Zazie Beetz of Atlanta and Deadpool 2 fame. Her character has the closest thing resembling an arc as she personally investigates the murders, but it does not provide her with much of a conclusion. Paul Scheer is fine as a terrible owner of the pizza shop and Chris Parnell is fine as a terrible mayor who paints hilarious naked portraits. Joe Kerry of Stranger Things fame appears two times for about a minute each. What is most enraging is the Hannibal Buress cameo where he says one line and promptly fucks off.
Maybe the best characters are the two detectives investigating the murders. Their dialogue was commonly absurdist and made me laugh every time they were on screen. Counter to them is the reporter who is just the worst. The character is incredibly boring and unfortunately, she is the primary method of exposition to the audience because she is the one telling the story. There is one scene opposite Chance the Rapper that is funny, but otherwise the combination of poor acting and worse material just ruins whatever scene she is in.
One thing that certainly hindered my viewing experience is that the theatre I was watching it in had a loud electronic hum that made me struggle to hear some of the dialogue and music. This was most unfortunate because I assume the movie incorporated some of Chance the Rapper’s music and, according to the credits, Ludwig Göransson composed some of the music and I like his work.
Despite all the issues I listed, I still like Slice; I just like it with a very large asterisk. It is weird and not afraid to flaunt it, unfortunately it fails to explain itself even a little bit. I desperately wish that Slice had embraced its B-movie nature to a greater degree, a little more self-aware humor would have added much to the world of casual ghosts that it lives in.
1.5 out of 4 stars.