Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy Aces Israel, a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn states evidence against the Vegas mob. The FBI, sensing a chance to use this small-time con to bring down big-target Sparazza, places Aces into protective custody-under the supervision of two agents dispatched to Aces Lake Tahoe hideout. When the word of the price on Aces head spreads into the community of ex-cons and cons-to-be, it entices bounty hunters, thugs-for-hire, deadly vixens and double-crossing mobsters to join in the hunt. With all eyes on Tahoe, this rogues gallery collides in a comic race to hit the jackpot and rub out Aces.
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When i saw Narc, i made a mental note to make sure to check out thenext film of Joe Carnahan. I had got Smokin' Aces lying around sincesometime but had forgotten about it, what it was about and who had madeit. And as i do often, i just popped it in without even looking at theinformations available, telling myself that if it was there, it'sbecause i had gotten it for a reason. All this to say i just watched itthrough without knowing it was the "next Carnahan film". It hurts evenmore since it could make Narc now seem like an accident...All the reviews have given the plot, so there's no sense in repeatingit, but i must repeat that it is a mess. The thing with stories asconvoluted as this is that they better be bullet proof or otherwiseit's just not worth it. If you can't keep it together and be awed by iteven after a second time through, tone it down. Simplify. If you can'tstart a film without spending the 5 first minutes of it to explaineverything that has happened which will lead to what will happen,simplify. The unpleasant thing is that here, you are first fooled bythe amount of information given during the first minutes into thinkingthat this could be something intelligent, and after that it goes fromexcitement to deception up until the anti- climax that makes you regretthe whole endeavor, like a bad date that you never really wanted tobring home for the night but just couldn't help yourself after asurreal evening of drinking, even though all the while *you just knew*that you shouldn't.I already felt cheated during the film : the Mad Max-Nazi trio that goaround half-naked killing everybody and carrying chainsaws andgenerators while invisible to everybody in the world, theHoudini/Hannibal crossover who just *loves* to torture and who'scapable of making real-life-defying latex masks of his victims on thefly, a couple of girls that seem themselves surprised to get a contractlike this, and a bunch of losers that were there just to fill in thegaps. Liotta and Reynolds do OK as FBI Agents but seem pretty sketchy.The time-span problem in the scenario has already been mentioned bymany, it's like scenes are just suspended in time so as to be able tocome back to them and not miss a thing whereas it is supposed to behappening all at once. And then there're the unnecessary fillings(scenes that go nowhere - dialog that doesn't mean anything : the kid,the rant at the reception, the dancing Nazis that nobody shoots at, thelast shooting on the roof etc.). All this without mentioning some waytoo easy killings and other unlikely survivals. But hey, i like allkinds of movies, and the photography was nice and Alicia Keys was hot,and a few scenes just really flowed (i loved the build-up to the bigshooting scene with Alicia). So, OK, after the initial deception, i wasready to be indulgent and just take what was there to be taken, even ifit would not add up to too much. Entertain me. But if it was to be amindless action-comedy, it sure would have needed some more spectacularaction, not to mention the humor. So there i was, nearing the end,waiting for it to go through the roof in a massive confrontationbetween everybody still alive, let's have it in the real over-the-topfashion shall we... except that it was already over and what i just saw*was* the final confrontation, and it was now time to explaineverything, to make "the end" as intelligent as the beginning wanted tolet you believe. And boy, even if i was dreading to have guessed themost of it, i just couldn't believe it. And that's when it all fellface-down, from crippled to clinically dead, from mindless to idiotic,from entertainment to abuse. It was worse a cheat than the ever-famous"it was only a dream", in that it just doesn't work in any level. Andlike this would not be of enough insult against the spectator, thefinal act of Agent Messner makes his "friend's/partner's" sacrificialdeath totally useless as well. Everything loses ground. The explanationgiven just sinks the film further down the drain, works against it, anddenies it the little amusement that it had left. Unless of course thepoint was that there's no point. Or that i took it way too seriously.Or not enough. Or that i just didn't "get" it..?What i *did* get is that, in the end, it's not an action-comedy (notenough action nor comedy), nor it's a "noir" (not believable for asecond), and it's not really cool (too air- headed and dumb) eventhough it has the photo and some cool moments, and to top it all i kindof felt insulted by it's cheap trickery to try and make me believe itwas all of those at once. And this is when i saw the name of theDirector in the closing credits. I won't go on any further, butneedless to say i was shocked. I'll still give Carnahan a benefice ofdoubt (i really liked Narc) and will not tell you to avoid it at allcost, do have a look and make up your own mind. I've seen worse buti've seen a lot better as well, and am glad in a way that i discoveredonly in the end the name of Joe Carnahan because otherwise i think iwould've been too sad to be able to finish it.4 out of 10, but 2 of it is in loving memory of Narc and in hoping thatthe next one will get Carnahan back on track, i'm sure he's stillcapable of great things.
When I first saw a preview for this, I figured it would be the typicalaction movie with blood and guts with no story. I was wrong. The actionsequences are very well done and the actors and actresses were alsogreat. Alicia Keys and Ryan Reynolds really stand out. Its Keys firstmovie and she did a very convincing performance. Reynolds does a verygood job and shows he can be a dramatic actor. The plot revolves aroundBuddy "Aces" Israel, a Las Vegas magician who gets himself in troublewith the Mob. A 1 million bounty is put on his head and 7 hit men comeafter him to collect the bounty. Jeremy Piven (Israel) does a great joband shows how great he really is. Ray Liotta is good as usual as wellas Common is. Don't forget about Jason Bateman, who delivers a veryfunny cameo as a lawyer. I recommend the movie for any fan of actionmovies. 15 and up is what i would recommend for the age. What are youwaiting for, go see it now.
Going in to a movie such as this it is hard to expect anything lessthan excellence, considering the wide variety of actors placed in thismovie. You have the "mob classic" experience of Andy Garcia and RayLiotta, mixing with the comedic yet dramatic experience of Jeremy Pivenand Ryan Reynolds. Not a single performance in this movie was short ofperfect, each character chosen with precision. The story, an originalmind twister, adding to the award worthy performances of the cast. Itis a movie that will captivate you and keep you guessing, waitinganxiously for what will happen next. A definite must see for the avidmovie lover, and those who just want to see something worth paying for.
Fast, furious, annoying and -- political subtext or no -- unrewarding.
Joe Carnahan's Narc was such an impressive achievement because itbreathed new life into a genre that was pretty much dead on its feet.The cops in the film (played by Ray Liotta and Jason Patric) werecomplex and flawed, and even though they were like characters we'veseen in movies before, they exceeded their stereotypes and were fullyrealized, human characters. In Carnahan's new film, Smokin' Aces, copsplay an important part in the story as well, but unfortunately theyhave about as much depth as extras lifted from a TV crime drama.This is a kind of movie I just hate: the kind where characters justdrone on and explain and explain and explain. They speak lazily andmonotonously, as if they want to seem cool and collected, when reallyjust seem to be sleep-walking through a contrived movie. Think of aQuentin Tarantino script devoid of any lively dialogue or pop culturereferences, and you get the basic idea of what Smokin' Aces is. For amovie that literally spends more than half its time on build up, thereis really minimal payoff. We're given extensive background informationon nearly every single character but in the end they're nothing morethan cardboard cut-outs. The out-of-their-league Bail Bondsmen/ex-cops,the black gangster girls, the sadistic rednecks, the master ofdisguise, and so on. That's about as far as we can distinguish them.It's a celebration of violence and carnage, but never once tries tohave any kind of fun at all. There are very specific characters who aremeant to be the comic relief, but the movie itself wants to be takenseriously, which makes it all the more laughable.This is such a dull, lifeless movie. Alicia Keys' and Taraji P.Henson's acting is about on par with a high school play. Ben Affleckconstantly looks about ready to call it a day and ask for his cheque.Ryan Reynolds puts a ridiculous amount of effort into a role that ispoorly written. The only role I even liked was Jeremy Piven'scharacter. Maybe because his character is in varying stages ofinebriation, he felt the need to actually display some emotion. Pivenmakes the movie better than what it deserves to be and is the onlycharacter in the movie I found to be at all convincing.Then there's the ending. Oh boy. There's a good way to distinguish goodtwists and bad twists. If there is some sense that a movie is leadingtoward this conclusion, like say, it has any importance at all, andperhaps the movie is always unraveling towards it or even droppingclues for it, then the twist is justified. Narc had a twist kind oflike that. Smokin' Aces has a moronic, needlessly complicated twistthat only exists because Carnahan probably couldn't think of aninteresting conflict for the climax. It's not so much a twist or anykind of important revelation as it is merely a curtain call.Smokin' Aces is a complete mess. There is about 30 minutes worth ofgood action, and the rest, I guess, is filler. It's an idiotic,pointless movie that has no depth at all, which would always beforgivable if it weren't for the lack of a sense of fun, either. Thereare too few redeeming factors and there are far too many better moviesout there.My rating: 4/10
I agree with the above critique to some degree, it did have anexcessive amount of unneeded violence. However, the plot in my opinionwas very good and kept the viewer on their toes. The entire movieseemed very simplistic until the end where unexpected twists begun tounwind. The end of the movie is very compelling and it lets you seeright into the heart of the FBI agent. It also lets you see into thereal nature of the characters involved. However, I can see where thechanging in moods and style throughout the movie can aggravate somepeople. The movie has a very unique way of killing off characters thatshould have important roles, and the movie lets you see into thosecharacters lives and then all of a sudden they vanish and never reappear in the movie.. Overall, I thought this movie was very good, inthe way that it approached the ending of the movie and never gave itaway. It was a true action based twist.
This review is from: Smokin' Aces (Full Screen Edition) (DVD) They need to make more types of these assassin movies. They have a lot of action and a good storyline that ties everything together
A grindhouse-inspired concoction that may not contain a shred of originality, but it is executed with unbridled bombast and glee.
Smokin' Aces isn't the most original endeavor, but it has enough wit, action and dramatic weight to carve out its own rightful place of honor in the crime film genre.
'Smoking Aces' reminds me of 'Pulp Fiction'. It doesn't reach thelevels of Tarantino's masterpiece but still is an entertaining flick.The plot revolves numerous characters including FBIs, bail bondsmen,hit-women, hit men and a whole lot of other players make their own planto catch their 'meat' but along the way there are some unpleasantsurprises that lead to a bloody chaotic slaughterhouse image. I didenjoy the film but perhaps there could have been more action before theending, and some of the characters are left unexplained (e.g. whathappened to Pasqual? Where did Georgia and her prince charming vanish? Joe Carnahan's direction is okay but the writing isn't solid. Somecharacters could have been better written in order to explain theiractions. But then again, it's an action flick not to be taken tooseriously. The dialogues and monologues are quite impressive. Thetechnical department (cinematography, visuals, background score, etc)scores very high and the violent action scenes were skillfully shot.Sound effects and colour tones are superb. The whole hotel 'massacre'sequence is very well executed.The star-studded ensemble cast includes Jeremy Pivens, Ben Affleck, RayLiotta, Andy Garcia, Ryan Reynolds, Matthew Fox, Alicia Keys, JasonBateman and more familiar faces. I was quite impressed by Reynolds (asI don't expect much from him and really hate those silly comedy movieshe does) and maybe it's time that he leaves those toilet humouredgarbage comedies. Jeremy Pivens is equally impressive and does wellwith a complex part. Alicia Keys can't act. Ray Liotta and JasonBateman are exceptional (in their small parts). The rest of the castare adequate.Summing it up, the movie isn't without it's share of flaws (mostlybecause of the writing) but it is a decent visceral action flick whichI enjoyed and wouldn't mind watching again.
This movie sucks. I hate this movie. It's stupid and has no point. Don't even waste your moive. Stay home and watch Simpson.. it's way cheaper and save you movie.
Grungy, garish and completely gratuitous, it's also extremely entertaining.
First off I can't see why some people don't like this movie? It haseverything, Action, blood, mafia, some drama and great story line. I'mguessing they are all haters of this kind of genre film? I see some ofthe stupidest comments about why this and why that? If you really payattention to the film, you will realize that every scene is exactly howit was meant to be filmed. It could best be summed up in one phrase."Over the top"..and that is what makes the film so enjoyable in thefirst place. It's all those quirky unbelievable scenes that make ausual Tarrantino or Guy Ritchie film ,what they are. Exciting.The plot line is simple. Buddy "Aces" Israel, Vegas entertainer of theyear and wannabe "wise guy" is being kept in a Taho luxury suite,because he has now decided to turn on the very people that made him astarr;. The Mob. The word gets out that they have put a 1 milliondollar bounty on his head and this causes everyhit-man/mercenary/bounty hunter to show up and try to collect the prizemoney. This is where the fun begins. Ina very hip narrative fashion,FBI Director ;Andy Garcia(Locke) and sleezebag bondsman; BenAffleck(Dupree)introduce the audience to the uncanny array of Hit men.You got "El Estrago"; the central American Torture specialist. TheTremor Brothers; Three whacked out Neo Nazi killers, who also supplythe film's comic relief at times. You got "Soot", The European disguiseartist and finally Alicia Keys and and her wanna be lesbian friend;Sharice to round up the crew of rogue Mercenaries...and if that isn'tenough, then you can throw in Bailbondsman ,Ben Affleck and two ex copsinto the mix.For the feds, you have two of cinema's finest with Andy Garcia and RayLiotta ,playing Lock and Carrathures, respectively. Both portray theirroles flawlessly, though I didn't quite agree with Garcia's NewYork/southern accent. You also have the hero; Ryan Renolds. He gets thehardest part, because he is the one who ends up picking up all thebroken pieces and tries to put them together. It's also interesting tosee him play a serious role rather well and hopefully he can continueto explore similar roles in the future...and last ,but certainly not least, is the title role of Buddy Israel,aptly playing the card mechanic/Illusionist/magician. I say aptly,because he pulls some impressive acting skills out of a hat. Hischaracter is on a an emotional roller-coaster ride throughout the film.Much at times, being completely wasted on coke, but still manages tocope with the hardest decisions a human being can make in a lifetime. Icompare his role a lot to "Scarface". Once an top of the world , nowslowly falling apart at the seems right before out eyes.Once the viewer understands the "Players" and their roles; the rest ofthe film makes perfect sense. The Over The Top scenes are completely insync with each character's background. Hence, the Tremore brotherscharging from elevators with machetes and chainsaws and feds andmercenaries dueling it out in elevators ala Resorvoire Dogs style. allthis Over the Top fun is strictly old school Grindhouse, just in adifferent time frame. The comedy is in the fact that all these hit menlook completely out of place in Hotel uniforms, yet they somehowinconspicuously blend in with hotel employees. Check out the Tremorbrother with a Mohawk blending in with hotel staff or "El Estrago"posing as a fed and for eye candy; Alicia Keys as a high class escort.Its all meant to be ridiculously out of place and yet somehow feelsjust right.Not to spoil the fun, but this movie really impressed me the way thatthe characters go through several metamorphoses throughout the film.Sometimes even in a one scene. I'm guessing it was meant to be this wayand surprises like these really remind me of Michael Madson's role inResoviore Dog's.To round it off, you get the anticipated Explosions, blood and actionthat every action movie should have, but you also get a very "I didn'tsee that coming" twist endings that should at least make you wonder howvaluable a man's life can really be and is it worth sacrificing yourlife for. That there, would be the drama part of the movie.I closing, I recommend the movie to all Tarrantino and Guy Ritchiefans. It does a fine job capturing the vibe of said directors. It mightnot be the next "Pulp Fiction", but it holds its own as a cool actionguy flick, best viewed on a wide plasma screen with 5.1 surround sound.
** There may be minor spoilers, but nothing crucial ** Before coming in the dark screening room for Smokin' Aces, I wasmightily unimpressed by Joe Carnahan's previous drab, No Doz caffeinepill-popping, stress-induced angry and depressing movie Narc (anamusing title considering I loved to play the particular arcade game asa kid). The opening intense sequence of that movie was the onlymesmerizing part I remember. I vaguely recollect the overlong &overdrawn third act and the ending a major letdown despite numerouslittle twists piling on top of each predecessor that left the viewermentally exhausted. I still don't know why Tom Cruise loved Narc somuch as to press Paramount to distribute the movie, he must haveeclectic taste as a producer.There is a rare exception. I was so impressed by Smokin' Aces' unique(perhaps self-consciously hip) marketing campaign -- the movie posterand physical cardboard promo (I love creative graphic design as anartist and a fan) -- that I just had to see the movie and see what thefuss is about.What a wild ride. It feels like I'm at Cedar Point or Six Flags interms of visceral, no-holds-barred movie-going experience. It wasironic the trailer preceding Smokin' Aces is Grindhouse withintentional film scratches and all. Smokin' Aces is the combination ofthe 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's clever, violent & sleaze film aesthetics-- Ocean 11 & Casino Royale, Get Carter & The Death Collector, 8Million Ways to Die & Revenge and The Punisher with Dolph Lundgren andTrue Romance, respectively.This film is not for the faint of heart. The word "excess" comes tomind -- which in fact I thought several times during the mostblood-&-guts violent sequences of the movie. "Over the top" comesclose. There are unbelievably disturbing images that I'd rather notspoil with brief descriptions.While I was engrossed by the visually pummeling experience of the film,I kept in mind Smokin' Ace is a work of fiction, similar to readingElmore Leonard novels. It's like the blender meshing of theultra-violent elements of the sleaziest crime novels with lurid pulpdetective novels from the 40's, throw in some favorite crime & twistedmovies and violent thriller manga (shades of pulp crime masters KazuoKoike & Buronson) and -- voilÃ ! Yes, it appears apparent Joe swiped certain elements like freezing theimages to flash the name and occupation for two seconds -- that's fromGuy Ritchie (I never liked his Britishly smug & QT wannabe moviesanyway) and Fernando Meirelles' mind-blowing City of God. I recall thequote - "To imitate someone is to pay the person a genuine compliment-- often an unintended compliment." Not to say it's bad to imitate,because it's harder to be original nowadays, so the reinvention of thecrime action genre is in order to make the whole concept seem fresh.Which Joe did to maximum efficiency, to my amazed impression. Joe & hisfilm-making crew handled the complexity of designing, filming,producing and editing Smokin' Aces with deftness with support of theensemble cast to make the most kick-ass movie there is in recent cinemahistory.The sheer absurdity & audacity of Smokin' Aces make Guy Ritchie lookhumble and Quentin Tarantino hopped on crack-cocaine. I thought TheTremor Brothers sequences are ludicrously over the top in Mad Max meetsGrand Theft Auto III characterization and their doling out masses ofsavage violence. The scenes with ADHD-suffering karate kid aren't funny-- in fact, flat-out pointless bordering on utter weird. I don't knowwhat the heck was Joe's point -- yes, I get the 'Ritalin' joke but Idon't know what was the point. Should've left on the editing floor butthen that would've made the movie a block of Swiss cheese.But eventually these 'ker-crazy' screenplay blunders are redeemed byfurther intense character developments andinsane-beyond-plausible-comprehension plot twists that may bestretching the reality but still boggle my mind without offending myadmittedly average intelligence. The film goes by way too fast inrapid-fire dialogues and editing that would make Michael Bay beam withpride. And it was exhausting trying to piece together the intricatedetails of the dense plot like a jigsaw puzzle, which Joe takes thecheerful delight in tormenting the audience with mind-bending riddles.An insanely complicated screenplay like this would require using uphundreds of index cards to lay out in grids, and somehow Joe got itnailed to the precise pinpoint of the wall without destroying the fiberof the structure. I still can't believe Smokin' Aces works sofabulously to provide the slam-bang entertainment without collapsingunder the weight of implausibility & excess.I haven't had so much visceral thrilling fun watching the "action withsmart-aleck dialogue" movie since Pulp Fiction in the originaltheatrical run. Indeed, Smokin' Aces is Pulp Fiction of the newMillennium. It's one big friggin' roller-coaster ride of a movie.By the way, I cannot believe the MPAA gave this incredibly violent &totally vulgar film an R rating. I have not seen such a massivelyviolent film since John Woo's Face-Off bordering on excess to inducegroans & nausea. NC-17 rating doesn't seem to apply to violent movies,but rather artistic T&A movies. Yeah, good values, America! **** out of 4Postscript: I didn't even read a review before I went to see Smokin'Aces, which is a rarity for me owing to magnificent promotion. Ofcourse, there are several negative reviews with the nerve to condemnSmokin' Aces as grossly violent & unoriginal while lavishing praise onThe Departed and Pan's Labyrinth, which is hypocritical. Smokin' Acesis not for everyone but Joe & cast & crew did a fantastic jobdelivering entertainment. True about Joe's terrible attempt at humorbut redeemed by twists & action. Screw the critics like PhiladelphiaWeekly's Sean Burns!
WellÂ I'm speechless. This is one of those instances where I don't thinkany person will have the same opinion of the film. It's purecontradiction in effect. There are some moments of pure genius followedby levels of stupidity that aren't even measurable. The clashing ofclarity with insanity leads to one big jumbled mess. However when allwas said and done, I liked it despite the many, many, many flaws.The first problem is the main part of the plot twist is verypredictable but some of it is impossible to guess, so it's notcompletely pointless to stick around that way, as there is some elementof surprise. Another blemish is there are some situations sofar-fetched the audience would be left scratching their heads at thesheer idiocy of even trying to comprehend the plausibility of some ofthese scenarios. The envelope of utter ridiculousness was pushed onlike no other standing before it. Lastly, this was a textbook case ofstyle being focused on much more than the actual substance. While thecoolness factor was, wellÂ cool; it also took away from what could'vebeen even better as a bunch of parts just didn't mesh together at all.What I liked most about "Smokin' Aces" was the comic relief. It wasamazing and couldn't have been done better. However since it was sodominating, it far overshadowed the dramatic effect and almost canceledit out to the point where even the serious scenes became funny. Alsodespite some of the mind-numbing drivel that crept out of the screen,there were instances of complete realism that paid close attention tothe tiniest detail which showed that a lot of effort was actuallythrown into this production. Minute characters were written in andexecuted with perfection and generated an aura of confidence thatsucked the viewer right in and held right on to your attention span forthe entire duration.There's that old saying, "nothing exceeds like excess." After watchingthis film if you don't already know what that meansÂ you will. Theviolence meter was off the charts and had so much non-stop action thateven the biggest craving of gratuitous gun fights will be satisfied andthen some. Most shootouts don't even hint at being remotely possibleand letting your imagination fly is definitely a requirement.As for the acting it wasn't Oscar worthy but suitable nonetheless. RayLiotta probably did the best followed by Ryan Reynolds who really putin a great turn at his first real dramatic role. He vastlyunderestimates his potential as a dramatic actor. If this were thefirst time I saw him, I never would've guessed he always did quirkycomedic characters before this. Jeremy Piven was fine but nothing newhere as he's now probably forever typecast in the role of pompous jerk.Jason Bateman threw in the funniest performance since some of his lineshad people rolling on the floor. The only disappointment was AliciaKeys. She did fill out the role well but didn't add anything elsebesides being a pretty face. While she was the worst that way, even shewasn't that bad as far as that goes. It should be also be added thatBen Affleck was surprisingly bearable and blended in with ease.In order to appreciate a flick like this, it's imperative you go inwith an open mind. There are moments where you will be wowed and othersthat you'll find unnecessary. You'll most likely be right on bothcounts. Anyone can find out what didn't work right off the back, but ata closer glance there are diminutive displays of precocity flashedabout. The basic formula has been done before but this was surely nocopycat and did contain many strains of originality. Due to the howeasily it is to write this film off it'll no doubt be overlooked, butdon't be one of the ones that miss out. "Smokin' Aces" is by no means aclassic, however love it or hate itÂ you'll be blown away wondering,"what the heck just happened?"
If "Pulp Fiction" was easy to understand, why isn't this movie? All yougot is a magician/snitch who was joining the underworld in Las Vegas,only to get himself messed up and incoherent. Then he decides to helpout the Feds and bring down the crime families. Just one thing; manyhit men from every corner wants to ice Buddy Israel(Jeremy Piven).Guess getting more money wasn't all what's cracked up to be. Here yougot ex-cops, hit men, contract killers, and the FBI. The question is"Who'll will reach Buddy Israel first?" Seems like everyone is out forthemselves. One killer will cancel out the other. Or so it seems. Shootouts erupt, and the Feds are caught in the middle. One Fed(Ray Liotta)is shot up by a mercenary. And some wild killers take on hotel securityand Feds. One Fed(Ben Affeck) is fed up with lies and secrets, so hesacrificed his career by pulling the plug on father and son. Thatsacrifice is payment for his partner's death. Great cast this movie'sgot. Alicia Keys didn't do a bad job playing a killer. A lot ofshooting was going on, but it was fine. 3 out of 5 stars!
Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy "Aces"Israel - a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state's evidenceagainst the Vegas mob. The FBI, sensing a chance to use this small-time con to bring downbig-target Sparazza, places Aces into protective custody-under thesupervision of two agents dispatched to Aces' Lake Tahoe hideout. When word of the price on Aces' head spreads into the community ofex-cons and cons-to- be, it entices bounty hunters, thugs-for-hire,smoking' hot vixens and double-crossing mobsters to join in the hunt. With all eyes on Tahoe, this rogues' gallery collides in a comic raceto hit the jackpot and rub out Aces....I was really looking forward to this movie, i mean it was directed bythe guy who made the amazing Narc, and starred an impressive cast. Andmost of all, the trailer was a hoot and made it look like a treat.This is the sole reason why i don't trust trailers anymore. Sure thecast are good, and there are some good set pieces, but if there isn't agood story and script to hold it together, whats the point of it all.This is basically gun porn for the masses, and it ends up like watchinga video game in progress. The groups in the film could be classed as alevel in the game and we watch and wait to see how they progress. It's the same throughout the whole film, with a few 'clever' linesthrew in, which are not very clever and add nothing to the film itself.Thank goodness for Piven, who actually raises this from actual trashand makes his few scenes a joy to watch.The rest of the film is pure piffle, and not very good.
"Smokin' Aces" is one of the current crop of movie messes dumped onunsuspecting audiences around the world, who think they're paying tosee something akin to filet mignon but end up being served celluloidmeatloaf. "Aces", as reviewed here by many viewers, is indeed asmÃ¶rgÃ¥sbord of other, tastier, flicks: "The Usual Suspects", "KillBill", "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", "True Romance","Scarface", "Pulp Fiction", et al. This movie tries so hard to be hipand edgy that it ultimately deconstructs itself and becomes trite andboring by the time the end credits roll. It takes much more than usingvisual references to the Seventies and obscure period music to tell astory or to keep audiences entertained. By the time this witless wasteof film was over, I had been narcotized into submission and onlywatched the ending to be sure I had been correct in guessing the"twist" ending. Yawn. The director, who had spent the firstthree-quarters of the film attempting to dazzle the viewer with guns,chainsaws, hidden stabbing devices, and gallons of blood suddenlyintroduces a "serious" plot device told in paragraphs of dialog by oneof the lesser characters to explain the entire mess away. Still, thismovie did have a few bright/educational spots: 1)Ben Affleck dies veryearly on, thus sparing us from having to watch him try to act. 2) RyanRenolds does not bare his gym-rat buffed body, thus forcing us toaccept him as a "serious" actor. Uh-huh. 3) Isn't it comforting to knowyou can survive a high-powered gun battle in the close confines of anelevator? Two characters disgorge multiple weapons and bullets betweenfloors and both survive. 4) Children who use Ritalin can produceinstantaneous erections. Who needs Viagra? 5) One lesbian can beinstantly "cured" by the love of a hot man who uses the term "babygirl", while the uncured lesbian gets gunned down. 6)Being unshaven isagain trendy, all the men in this turkey bristle their way throughtheir scenes. Don Johnson should sue since he made this razor-free lookhip way back in the Eighties on "Miami Vice". 7) The F-bomb is droppedmany times in this movie, used as a noun, a verb, an adjective, or anadverb. It's evident that soon English will be replaced by this allpurpose word, along with pointing at things as a way to communicate.Even so, the director of "Aces" stole this idea from "Four Weddings anda Funeral", re: Hugh Grant's line "f*ck f*ck f*ckity f*ck" or even"f*ck a doodle doo". I give three stars to this meatloaf for it'saudacity in stealing from more superior movies, but one slice of thisis more than enough.
Smokin' Aces is basically a pretty-looking low budget film. The storyline is about as unorganized and confusing as it gets, because the entire first half of the film is nothing but one nonsense barely-understandable segment after another, while the second half is a small improvement with lots of violence, gun shootings and blood to bring the viewers back from their sleeping state. Looking back however, it's just a failed attempt at an action movie that tries *so hard* to be entertaining, but the constant shifting around from one segment to another makes it almost impossible to enjoy on any level. Maybe it has some funny segments (such as the kung fu fighter striking near a guys face, and another segment involving a guy playing with a dead guys face) but overall, these funny segments just make it harder to take the action parts seriously, and it wasn't good enough of a movie overall to take seriously in the first place. Just don't even waste your time.
Alright, I'm gonna start off by saying, yes, I am extremely biased whenit comes to bloody action movies and the one-and-only Jeremy Piven. Ithink he's an INCREDIBLE actor with a great wit and a lovable, jerkcharm to him (haha, Jeremy, if by any chance you're reading this now ILOVE YOU).That being said...I actually really, really liked Smokin Aces. I'm no movie buff, and Iguess you can say I have strange tastes in movies, but I'll be damned,I was very entertained by this. I thought the humor was definitelythere, and Alicia Keys and Common totally proved their acting worth.Jason Bateman, of Arrested Development fame (FUNNIEST SHOW I HAVE EVERSEEN END OF STORY), cracks me up with the self-loathing dialog that hesneaks in at any possible moment, while the Tremor Brothers add theirown brand of wacky and violent comedic relief.I will admit, however, that the hurried wrap-up of the plot in the lastwas rushed and a little sloppy. It took me a couple minutes after thecredits were rolling to really get what just happened. But still, evenwith the rushed ending, I thoroughly enjoyed Smokin Aces, and I suggestyou go see it as soon as possible! Take the kids! ...wait...