Smokin' Aces

"OK"

Smokin' Aces Review


A double-decker, monster-man sandwich of a movie with all the condiments dripping off and the tomatoes soaking through the bread, Joe Carnahan's Smokin' Aces grabs you by your lipstick-smudged collar and chucks you headfirst into a car-crash dizziness of crime, punishment, and bureau hobgob.As with most directors, Carnahan is eager to put the giddiness of his debut, Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane, on top of the professionalism of 2002's brooding Narc, only too happy to throw in a who's-who of dynamite character actors to add flavor. Flipping scene-to-scene with a racecar driver's patience, Smokin' Aces quickly engages the viewer but just as quickly stuffs the plot with enough peripheral storylines to garner an Advil intermission. Carnahan, however, seems only the merrier to turn the mayhem up to eleven.Here's the scoop: Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven) has turned states evidence and has been marked to be deposited in an unmarked grave, heart removed and in the hand of the invalid Don of the Las Vegas mafia. Quicker than you can say Vincent Vega, a plethora of gun-totting, knife-brandishing assassins are descending on the Lake Tahoe hotel where Israel has commandeered the penthouse suite and filled it with enough blow and prostitutes to garner a Motley Crue reunion gig. There's a sexually-ambivalent pair of Jackie Brown's (scene-stealers Alicia Keys and Taraji P. Henson), a trio of Nazi-punk, south-bred Mad Max's (led by dirtied-up pretty-boy Chris Pine), a relentless torture artist (Nestor Carbonell), and a superbly vicious Ethan Hunt-type mask-wearer named Lazlo Soot (Tommy Flanagan). Oh, and not to mention a bail bondsman and two ex-cops (Ben Affleck, Peter Berg, and Martin Henderson) hired by a Herpes-positive lawyer (Justin Bateman).Israel's right-hand man Sir Ivy (hip-hop ingénue Common in a solid acting debut) has suspicions on Buddy's loyalty as the bureau chief (Andy Garcia, his cheeks tight enough to brandish a diamond ring from a lump of coal) deliberates on whether Buddy is essential to the FBI's case or not. To fast-track the proceedings, two FBI agents are sent to pick Israel up, played with welcome integrity by Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds. This is all confounded by a paint-by-numbers mystery about the Las Vegas Don's origins and his hand in an FBI agent's death.Not for nothing, Carnahan's big mess has a stunningly concise tone to it, not trashy enough to be campy and not serious enough to be harshly considered. There's no denying, however, that Smokin' Aces is a backpedal from the grimy cop paranoia of its predecessor. Ultimately, many of the characters are superfluous to the kinetic frenzy of the film and come off as cameos (Bateman, Affleck, and a surprise Matthew Fox head the list). This also lends itself to a problem of absurdly curt storylines that seem to mass into a rubber-band ball of narratives. That being said, it's still a kick to watch Carnahan go all in, pulling out some primo action scenes including a climactic shoot-out that ends with an assassin taking a chainsaw up the keister. The effect sprays about as much bodily fluid to the ironically-named Nomad hotel as one could imagine from a Tarantino disciple with time and money on his hands.Aces high.


Smokin' Aces

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 26th January 2007

Box Office USA: $35.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $57.1M

Budget: $17M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Working Title Films, StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Scion Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 45 Rotten: 110

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Richard Messner, as Donald Carruthers, Joseph Ruskin as Primo Sparazza, as Serna, as Himself, as Buddy Israel, as Jack Dupree, as Hollis Elmore, as Sir Ivy, Christopher Michael Holley as Beanie, as Stanley Locke, Mike Falkow as Freeman Heller, Joe Drago as FBI Aid, Jeff Habberstad as Top Coated Gunman, as "Pistol" Pete Deeks, as Bill, as Georgia Sykes, as Lazlo Soot, as Jeeves Tremor, as Darwin Tremor

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.