Directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, Joe Carnahan, Smokin’ Aces is an action packed cluster of bullets, blood, bodies, and bedlam. This is 100 minutes of chaos with a loose story and very few morals. Visceral and unforgiving, Carnahan’s touch of brutality seems to emanate through most of his films which include Narc, The Grey, and The A-Team. As mentioned, the story isn’t the most in depth, but regardless it’s still very interesting set against such a violent finale that is foreshadowed and anticipated from the very beginning. You know it’s coming, and it get can’t get here quick enough and when it does it will be gloriously vicious.
From the get go the movie makes no qualms about what kind of story it is; a violence filled vengeance film with plenty of action to satisfy any action movie aficionado thirsty for blood. And that’s what I love about it; it’s simple, to the point, and awesome. Take an interesting enough premise and add an eclectic cast and finish it off with a competent director and you have a recipe for a damn good movie. Cast aside by most critics as being a violent mess yearning to be a Tarantino knockoff, I for one couldn’t disagree more. I love this movie! It’s intense and violent and bloody and everything I could want in an action picture. Maybe I’m just a demented individual but I like overly violent films such as this one and every gnarly moment keeps me hooked and waiting for the next.
Buddy ‘Aces’ Israel (Jeremy Piven) was once a big time magician on the famous Las Vegas Strip, but that time has long since passed. Now, his life is locked away as he hides awaiting the assistance from the FBI. The FBI knows the information that Israel possesses on The Mafia is priceless and so a deal is in the works to protect Israel and destroy La Cosa Nostra once and for all. The Mafia is well aware of what Israel is up to and will go to any length to stop him; bring in the contract killers and mercenaries. A huge contract has been placed upon Israel’s head in the amount of one million dollars. In the world of contract killing this is a major payday and will certainly attract a lot of “flies” to the scene. Setup in a Tahoe Casino suite, Israel is unknowingly the target of multiple killers who are well aware of his location and very much on their way. A bunch of murderous psychopaths converging on a single location… what could go wrong?!
Aside from the violence and action, a definite highlight is the characters… the very odd and unique characters. This has psycho wannabe Nazi brothers, Mafia hit men, freelance torturers, and even women with murder as their profession. This is a large gathering of insanity and it’s such a blast to experience. This certainly isn’t for everyone and maybe it’s excessively violent nature is what kept many away, but if blood and immorality are what you’re looking for, look no further than Smokin’ Aces!
Rated R For: strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use
Run Time: 108 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Ben Affleck, Martin Henderson, Chris Pine, Andy Garcia
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2.5/ Acting: 3.5/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 4.5
OVERALL: 4.5 Nerdskulls