A dying mob boss takes out a $1 million contract on the life of his former protégé, a Vegas magician turned gangster who has agreed to testify against the mob. The FBI attempts to protect their key witness as an array of hit men and women descend on Lake Tahoe in a race to take the magician out.
When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
I'm not sure how this movie has a 6.7, seriously, I was so excited to see this film when I saw that it had a decent rating. I got it as a free rental, so I figured I would see what it was about, after all it had a very promising cast. Including Ray Liotta who is a very under rated actor and in my opinion didn't get enough credit after Goodfellas. But anyways, I just saw this film a couple days ago and I just really couldn't get into it, it just kept making these sudden movements and wouldn't stop with the loud noises or constant trying to be witty but not so much remarks. Whoever this director was, he is not Martin Scorcesse or Francis Ford Coppola or not even Michael Bay, I think he was trying to combine them.
OK, from what I gathered, there is this guy, Buddy 'Aces' Israel, a former mafia member turned snitch, when he has to testify in court, he doesn't want too, but he doesn't get off so easy. He's pretty much got the whole world after him and they don't want him living. But only two detectives are protecting him and they are definitely going to have to be on their best alert for this guy since there is a bunch of bounty hunters also trying to get him.
Smokin' Aces tries to be a hip new mafia movie that just very much misses instead of making it into a hit. The acting wasn't really good, the camera work must have been done by a guy who plays too many video games, and the story was just confusing, it was too distracting since the movie was just so loud and stupid, it gave me such a headache. This movie in no way deserves a 6.7 rating, I've seen soooo much better. I wouldn't recommend this for a watch, especially to those who have a great appreciation for true mafia films.
2/10 Here we are folks. The real start of the year for films has finally begun. Director and screenwriter Joe Carnahan's shoot 'em up adrenaline flick, 'Smokin' Aces' starts it all. With its intriguing cast and premise it looked to be something to talk about. Although it has a few decent qualities, there's still something missing.
Five time entertainer of the year Buddy "Aces" Israel, played by Jeremy Piven, has gotten himself into quite a pickle. Associating himself with the crime leaders of the underworld in Las Vegas he became delusional. He started believing he himself was one of them. After many failed schemes Aces decides the only way to get himself out of the mess he's created is to rat out his associates to the FBI. In turn, mob boss Primo Sparazza puts a bounty on Aces. One million dollars to be exact. Not only does he want him dead though, he wants his heart too. Once word of the bounty spreads, hit men (and women) from all over make their way to Aces' Lake Tahoe hideout hoping to get to him first and get their hands on the one million dollars.
At the beginning, everything in 'Aces' is a bit of jumbled mess. Back to back flashback narratives explaining everything up until the present do not let up and may cause some viewers to stop and think twice about what was just said. The same thing happens near the end and comes off the same way. This is a film that can't be taken seriously, and there's just far too much storyline here. Carnahan tried a little too hard to make it more clever than it needed to be, which takes it down a few notches.
Obviously though, we all know what everyone is going to see this film for; the action scenes. They range from good to excellent with none of them being amazing. Some of them are a little too well planned and executed to be seen as believable, but that's not an issue really. They're all pretty pleasing, and that'll be good enough for most people.
What really makes everything all go together, and is the actual glue of the film are the characters. They're each interesting, entertaining, & fun. We have a torture fiend, chainsaw wielding brothers, a pair of sniper lesbians, & a master of disguise. Most appealing would be Alicia Keys'. In her acting debut, she demonstrates just the right amount of cool and sexy melded together to make her character Georgia Sykes the vixen sniper in one word, awesome. Also just as surprising and also a relief was Affleck didn't, I repeat didn't ruin the film. Now I'm not saying he was good either. Just go and see the film and you'll see what I mean Now with all that said, there remains to be something missing here. I'm not going to drag out with a couple of jokes what it is either. Plain and simple, it's Tarantino. 'Smokin' Aces' looks like it was made from some Quentin Tarantino movie kit. Apparently, Carnahan didn't follow the directions correctly. Had Tarantino been the director, I think it could've been great. He would have added that little something that only he can that made 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'From Dusk Till Dawn' what they were. At least 'Grindhouse' will be here in a couple of months. Still, if you're looking for some high energy fun, 'Smokin' Aces' is where it's at. Smokin' Aces is Tarantino lite - a vague and unsuccessful attempt to bring together a bunch of offbeat, unrelated characters in a situation where a bloody resolution is inescapable. ... Richard Messner and Donald Carruthers listen in on Serna and Padiche's phone call? "Surveillance (I-Spy and the FBI)" by Clint Mansell.
... Jack Dupree, Pistol Pete Deeks, and Hollis Elmore are introduced as Dupree talks about Israel? "Smokin' Aces - It's Buddy's World" by Clint Mansell.
... Locke debriefs Messner and Carruthers about Israel? "FBI" by Clint Mansell.
... Georgia Sykes and Sharice Watters are introduced? "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" by Outkast.
... Pasquale Acosta is introduced? "Yo'te Queiro (Oh Ma Corazon)" by Clint Mansell.
... The Tremor brothers are introduced? "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead.
... Lazlo Soot is introduced? "Down on the Street" by The Stooges.
... Israel wakes up in his penthouse? "Segura O Sambura" by Nilton Castro.
... Israel throws cards at hookers? "I Love You" by The Bees.
... Ivy & Beanie get rid of hookers? "Trespassing" by Skull Snaps.
... Tremor brothers drive-by and shoot up Dupree's crew? "Like Light To The Flies" by Trivium.
... Darwin Tremor plays with Dupree's corpse? "Morte Di Un Soldato" by Ennio Morricone.
... Soot murders Hugo in the basement? "Save Yourself" by The Make-Up.
... Acosta murders Bill? "Yo'te Queiro (Oh Ma Corazon)" by Clint Mansell.
... Watters watches Sykes change? "Touch Me Again" by Bernard Pretty Purdie.
... the montage (showing Sykes waiting by the elevator, Hollis making his way to Warren's house, Acosta fixing up his face in the hotel lobby, Tremors going up in the elevator, Soot going up in the elevator, e.t.c...) begins? "Smokin' Aces - It's Buddy's World" by Clint Mansell.
... Soot enters penthouse / Israel freaks out in bathroom? "Big White Cloud" by John Cale.
... Carruthers vs. Acosta? "FBI" by Clint Mansell.
... Warren opens the door to the wounded Hollis? "I Gotcha' Back" by GZA/Genius.
... Watters & Sykes vs. FBI agents? "Welcome To Tahoe!" by Clint Mansell.
... Tremor brothers vs. security team? "First Warning" by The Prodigy.
... Watters' breakdown & death? "Shell Shock" by Clint Mansell.
... Messner walks through crowd outside of hotel and then goes to the hospital? "Aftermath (Body Count)" by Clint Mansell.
... Messner pulls the plug on Israel and Sparazza? "Dead Reckoning" by Clint Mansell.
... during the end credits? "Play Your Cards Right" by Common ft. Bilal, "First Warning" by The Prodigy, "Smokin' Aces - It's Buddy's World" by Clint Mansell. a5c7b9f00b
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