Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Smokin' Aces

Review by K.A.

I went out last night to watch Rocky VI, expecting it to be quite popular as it was only released over the weekend. However I did not anticipate the number of people that would also have the same idea and, unfortunately, the movie was booked out. Not wanting to have a wasted journey, Rok and myself decided to watch Smokin' Aces instead.

It was Rok's choice and it was a total surprise to me, as I had never heard of the movie before let alone seen it advertised. I didn't really know what to expect from it except for the quick description Rok gave me of it: "It's kinda like an action cop movie, with comedy and stuff". Well I like action comedies so I was happy to try it out.

Very quickly I was surprised to realise the number of huge Hollywood actors in the film: Ray Liotta, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Ryan Reynolds, Jeremy Piven, the list goes on. There were also two very notable roles by rapper Common and singer Alicia Keys, who both acted very well against a cast who were much more experienced.

The movie got off to a shaky start, as the plot became a little confusing to me. I have to admit that, right to the end when it is "tied up" and the movie finishes, I found it hard to understand why some of the things that transpired had actually happened for. Basically a mob boss places a $1 million bounty on Buddy "Aces" Israel (Piven), a dead-beat Vegas magician who has agreed to give evidence against the Vegas mob.

The FBI put Aces into protective custody under the supervision of two agents, played by Reynolds and Liotta, who are quickly rushed to Aces' Lake Tahoe hideout. However news of Aces snitching is already on the streets and every assassin worth their weight (and a few that aren't) all attempt to get to Tahoe before the FBI to off Aces and claim their bounty.

This should have been the main part of the plot and certainly provided the impetus for most of the movie. However boring scenes of dusty FBI rooms and a weak plot twist at the end sometimes mar the action/comedy pace the movie is dominated by. In fact it reminded me of Matrix 2, where a very good action movie was compromised by terrible attempts to give it a strong plot.

Smokin' Aces is best enjoyed as a gritty, in-your-face action with some great comedy moments. Overall it is supposed to be an action movie, but there are some really good sidesplitting moments, such as the assassin who brings a 50 calibre gun ("You bought the 50 cal? Damn bitch!") to the foray, or the psychotic and unstable Nazi trio who enjoy the use of shotguns and chainsaws a la Doom. But possibly the best thing about the film is that they aren't afraid to write off major named actors at any stage in the film. Basically you won't know who is going to survive to the end!

In conclusion, I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone who is looking for a strong plot line. However if you're at home with a few friends, drinking beers and at a loose end for something to watch, this film will certainly keep you all laughing and entertained for the night.

I would give Smokin' Aces 6.5 body bags out of 10.



Blogger Jay Tea said...

Looks like a good Friday-night flick.

Cheers for the review bro!

9:14 pm  

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