Smokin’ Aces (2007)

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A mob hit is ordered on a casino entertainer prompting a race against time between the FBI and various factions wishing to claim the $1 million dollar bounty on his life.

This film is a throwback to the early 1990’s when every film released seemed to be a full of characterful gangsters and wacky hit men in a desperate attempt to jump on the Tarantino bandwagon. It can best be described as The Wacky Races with guns, as the hit men and women race to reach their target, bumping each other off along the way. There are no clever twists or intellectual plot devices – the one “twist” is easy to guess and superfluous to the action anyway. There is just an extreme lack of subtlety and very high body count. The cast is above par and although I usually hate it when movies cast pop stars, Alicia Keys and Common actually acquit themselves quite well while Ray Liotta and Ryan Reynolds strike up quite an effective buddy partnership. With the high bullet count and holistic climax the end product is very similar to a Guy Ritchie movie but with even less subtlety and for me the inclusion of yet another bunch of comedy Nazis is perhaps a bridge too far.

There are one too many “wacky” characters to take Smokin’ Aces remotely seriously, but taken as a tongue in cheek, high octane action comedy it is quite entertaining.

6.5/10

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