Smokin' Aces Reviews
Buddy "Aces" Israel, (Jeremy Piven), is a self-indulgent headliner magician at the MGM's main ballroom who grew up inside the Las Vegas mob, headed by mob boss, Primo Sparazza (Joseph Ruskin). "Aces" is a wannabe gangster who believes he has the brains to start his own gang and become his own mob boss. This move doesn't sit well with the real mob boss, who places a $1,000,000 contract on "Aces". When the contract hits the street, it brings out all sorts of psychopathic killers from around the world.
"Aces" needs protection, so he is willing to turn state's evidence against the mob in return for witness protection and not going to prison. While he awaits the negotiations between his lawyer and the FBI, he is holed up in the penthouse suite of the Nomad Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada with his homies and some hookers. "Ace's" location must be an open secret, because all the hit men ascend to Lake Tahoe and converge on the penthouse to cash in on a big payday.
Ace is illegitimate son of Sparazza, who is really a rogue FBI agent who took his identity years earlier. Sparazza wants him killed so he can have his heart transplanted, as his is failing. The FBI want to make this happen so they can get info on mob activities from Sparazza. FBI agent Messner (Ryan Reynolds), who lost his partner in the shootouts, is disgusted by the new information, and pulls the plug on the life support systems for both father and son.
Here's the deal, I was entertained by this movie, and had fun watching it, but it's not really that good. The script is really undercooked, there's like maybe one character worth caring about, almost all of the characters are thinly developed caricatures, it takes too long for thigns get started, and, once they do, the results are underwhelming and disappointing. I didn't care much for the third act revelation/twist, but in a sick way I did find it darkly humorous (I'm talking bitter gallwos humor here)- which may have been the original intent. The editing got a little annoying (sometimes it's hard to tell what the hell is going on). The way things unfold is okay, but it's been handled better (see also Traffic and other films with intersecting storylines).
This all feels derivative of Ritchie and Tarantino, (or also Troy Duffy), which only bothers me when it's mishandled, as it is here. There are some things I liked though. I liked that there is an ensemble casdt and that Carnahan takes risks by showing that just because A-listers are present doesn't mean that they'll stick around for very long. There are a few really good moments with genuine surprises, and some just plain old good scenes period...they're just few and far between. Reynolds is probably the best, especially since his role is the most fleshed out. I really liked Chris Pine though- he just steals the show and really hams it up providing some memorable moments of whacked out funny/scary. Piven is also good at playing coked out.
As wild and nutty as this all is though, it's a real mess. It seems to be as coked out as Piven's character, but that doesn't really help much. The only real film where they kind of thing worked was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (and even that is hardly watchable-it's at least really good though).
I don't really recommend it, but if you do see it, don't expect it to be as great as it could have been.
First hour seems to be stuck piecing the different contract killers together and their background, whilst the Fed are shown to be trying to figure out what is going on. No one set of actors though gets above the others, and in doing so you have multiple stories in the film tied into the whole premise of the film. Acting is great by the general assemble which includes fine performances by Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta.
Problematically, the film tries to be too cool at the start, and reminds me too much of "Things to do in Denver...." and so on. In addition, the film is really confusing at points but is worth persevering with nevertheless. The complexity makes it very original, and you never know where its going, but it wraps up together in the last 30mins which are more than worth the cinema ticket alone.
No classic, but enjoyable, original and interesting overall..
Amazing Shoot Up Movie with an Amazing Cast!!
its like shoot em up but different interesting storyline its completely worth a watch, i love ray liotta!
DIRECTED BY: Joe Carnahan
In these interlocking tales of high stakes and low life's, Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy "Aces" Israel--a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state's 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 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, smokin' hot 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.
Being a huge fan of Ryan Reynold's, I thought it was time to see this movie. I enjoyed the ride this movie takes you on. Bits of twists and turns. Good acting by all. There is a lot of talent in this movie. Surprised that Alicia was good. The movie started off slow, but eventually picked up the pace. Lots of action and really good twisted characters. It's a good little action flick.