Smokin' Aces
Review written on: January 28th, 2007

Smokin' Aces Review

Smokin’ Aces had the best all-star cast since Lucky Number Slevin. I only wished I liked the movie as much as I liked the cast.

It’s not that the movie was bad or boring. It just wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped it was going to be. Yes, there were lots of gunfights. And yes, it was a race for the first hitman to get to Buddy “Aces” Israel. But it wasn’t as exciting as a movie about multiple hitmen (and women) going after a Vegas entertainer while a horde of FBI guys are after him should be.

Things I did like:

  • Ryan Reynolds…always. In every movie. Ever. He brings humor, emotion, and a level of humanity to every role he takes, and Agent Messner is no exception.
  • Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds’ banter. They should make a buddy cop movie together.
  • Alicia Keys as an actress. I’ve never been a big fan of her music, but she seems like given a better role, she could do really well in acting. Not that she wasn’t good in this role, but dressing like a hooker and carrying a gun around can’t be all that difficult.
  • Jeremy Piven as Buddy Israel. I don’t watch Entourage, so I only know Piven from his roles in movies like Serendipity and his role on “Ellen” years ago. I felt for his character. I wish we were given more time with him dealing with his emotions. He was potentially selling out his friends and dooming himself to a lifetime of hiding. The few scenes where we see how that affects him were fantastic. Piven balances Buddy’s “I’m a Vegas bad boy” persona and his “desperate person falling off the end of the world” true self very well.
  • The use of very famous cameos – Wayne Newton, Matthew Fox, Jason Bateman.
  • There were, of course, things I didn’t like. There were too many distractions – side trips that were unnecessary, characters that served no real purpose. I also didn’t like that it didn’t take place in Vegas. A hit on a Vegas entertainer should go down in Vegas. But no, he was staying in the penthouse in Tahoe. Tahoe? Seriously? How boring does it get? At least in Vegas we would have gotten flashing lights and the jangle of casino slot machines. In Tahoe we get a lovely view of the mountains from the penthouse windows.

    I had really wanted this movie to be more like Lucky Number Slevin, which I had loved so much and had a similar style of plotline. Unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to the high expectations I had for it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go see it. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. If you’ve got ten bucks lying around and nothing better to do, go check it out. Gunfights are better on the big screen. If you’re broke and busy, it wouldn’t be a horrible thing for you to wait for Netflix.

    Overall, an entertaining flick, if not one I’d watch over and over again. Ryan Reynolds was easily the best part of the movie. But as we know, I’m a big fan.


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