Smokin’ Aces

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Alicia Keys, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven

Director: Joe Carnahan

Guns, blood, yeah I know you’ve probably seen it all before!

The lure and hype of SMOKIN’ ACES was too much so I gave in and left the comfort of my armchair to catch this hybrid flick that splices comedy with drama pushed on by a whole lot of gunfire!

Okay, so in one corner there’s this wannabe Mafioso jerk called Buddy Aces who’s about to turn to the FBI to save his scrawny backside from mandatory execution and in the other corner there’s the mafia and several hired killers. Thus the stage is set for guns galore, but why all the fuss over a low life like Buddy? Well for the hired killers it’s the $1million bounty on his head, for the FBI it’s the crucial evidence he could give them and as for the mafia well you’ll have to see it for yourself to figure that one out.

Joe Carnahan directs with panache, especially the action scenes, but he loses his grip on the development of his characters and story and consequently other than Ray Liotta’s by the book FBI agent character, Alicia Key’s film debut in impossibly tight shorts as a super sexy assassin and Ryan Reynolds disgruntled FBI agent, there is very little dimension to any of the other characters. This fatal error takes a great story with huge action/dramatic potential and turns it into a basic run of the mill action flick.

So for your basic shoot ’em up this will suffice but PULP FICTION it ain’t!

3 out of 6 stars

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