Smokin' Aces (2006)
Directed by Joe Carnahan
Writing credits Joe Carnahan
Ben Affleck.... Jack Dupree
Jason Bateman.... Rip Reed
Common.... Sir Ivy
Andy Garcia.... Stanley Locke
Alex Rocco.... Serna
Alicia Keys.... Georgia Sykes
Ray Liotta.... Donald Carruthers
Jeremy Piven.... Buddy 'Aces' Israel
Peter Berg.... "Pistol" Pete Deeks
Ryan Reynolds.... Richard Messner
A bunch of assassins converge on a hotel in Lake Tahoe to kill Ari Gold. He’s gone from Las Vegas magician to ruthless mob boss. A common turn of events to be sure. A $1 million bounty has been placed on Ari Aces. The mob wants his heart. This brings out many colorful hit men and hit women to try to collect. The FBI tries to save him from this army of killers as some convoluted plot works itself out.
“Smoking Aces” is, to put it mildly, over the top. The assassins run the gauntlet of movie villains. Alicia Keys shows up with her lesbian sidekick to take Aces out via blaxploitation style. Since he can’t resist a fine foxy mama like Alicia, they’re sure they’ve got it in the bag. Then there are the inbred cousins who show up out of some 70’s drive-in movie, possibly “Gator Bait”. They’ve got chainsaws and love to use them. There is also a super assassin from Italy and another who is a master of disguise. All of these bloodthirsty maniacs check into the hotel to take Ari out.
“Smoking Aces” is a wired movie. It throws as much as it can at the screen to see if any of it will stick. It is a stylistic overload of different movie genres and outrageous violence.
Needless to say, I enjoyed this film immensely. Watching super agent Ari “Aces” Gold duck and cover from hit men is what good times are made of. Normally when I see a director feel the need to show off as bad as this one did, I get turned off by his explosion of style. This time it works because “Smoking Aces” keeps the bullets flying and the bodies bleeding. Gangster movie fans will get a kick out of this one. It’s worth a look.
SCORE: 3 out of 4 smokin Ari's