Richard Messner: You said someone came up to you as an FBI agent?
Pimply Casino Employee: Yeah—
Richard Messner: And then you saw him get on the elevator wearing a security guard outfit?
Pimply Casino Employee:(stammering) Yeah?
Richard Messner: And that didn't seem odd to you?
A 2007 film, directed and written by Joe Carnahan, about the Stage Magician, Casanova Wannabe, and newly turned mob informant Buddy Israel — a washed-up, bitter, narcissistic, alcoholic drug abuser — who gets a million-dollar bounty on his head courtesy of mob lord Primo Sperazza. Naturally, Hilarity Ensues!Did poorly with the critics (only 27% at Rotten Tomatoes) but moderately well at the box office. A lot comes down to to the ending, where it's revealed that the plot is actually a lot more dramatic than it first appeared, the final shot renders much of the film pointless. Among its detractors, this makes the film a waste of time. Among its appreciators, it's why the film is so good.A prequel was released in 2010. This time, the target is Walter Weed, a lowly desk jockey at the FBI on the verge of retirement, who is informed by his bewildered superiors that a massive price has been placed on his head, on condition that he is killed at precisely 3:00AM on April 19th, the very day he retires. He is given a team of Federal Agents as bodyguards and taken to an impenetrable underground fortress disguised as a bar, while all manner of ruthless killers converge on his location. Once again, there is a twist at the end that changes the nature of the story.Frequently compared to Shoot 'em Up, a similarly self-indulgent action movie released around the same time, which is Love It or Hate It for precisely the opposite reason.
A Party Also Known as an Orgy: The party held in Buddy Israel's penthouse apartment the night before the main action of the film begins was obviously one of these.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "My boy Dale is at the Reno Correctional Facility. He's got some clarity issues. Did some home invasion, sodomy-torture type stuff; wrote a lot of bad checks."
Axe Crazy: The Tremor Brothers, who use WWII weaponry, chainsaws, flamethrowers, and Rare Guns. Often prone to going Medieval on people (at the cost of a well planned hit - it's explained early in the film they were supposed to kill one guy. They wind up taking him out... and the rest of the club goers of the club he was in.)
In Smokin Aces 2, the Tremor family resorts to shooting exploding clowns out of a carnival cannon.
Blast Out: Several times, most notably the Tremors coming out of the elevator.
"Blind Idiot" Translation: Darwin Tremor's text tattoo is an opening line from 'Mein Kampf'. It is translated very poorly however (possibly by an automated translator) and 'Braunau-am-Inn' (Hitler's birthplace) is rendered as 'Braunau-auf-der Gasthaus' ('Gasthaus' is German for 'inn'). May be justified though, because Darwin might have done the translation himself.
Blown Across the Room: Which is justified, for once. Unarmored FBI agents, versus a .50 caliber anti-materiel rifle. The effects are obvious.
Not really justified. Even a .50 BMG round will not cause someone to fly through the air; instead, the extremely powerful armor-piercing rounds simply go right through human bodies and keep going, leaving very large holes in their wake. It's physically impossible for a bullet to make someone fly.
Boring but Practical: Sir Ivy manages to kill the Tremor Brothers - wielding chainsaws, flamethrowers, and WWII sub-machine guns - with a guard's boring Beretta and a casual SigSauer.
Bottomless Magazines: Ivy manages to fire about twelve shots from a revolver in one scene, all in quick succession. The director actually points this out quite gleefully on one commentary track.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Ripley Reed, almost literal example because he has a bunny costume head in his room. He is shown as bumbling, disheveled alcoholic. Later he is also revealed to be sleeping in women lingerie.
Judging from the tissues and lotion on the bed, he was doing a lot more than sleeping in it.
Cradling Your Kill: Pasquale to Bill. Pasquale seems genuinely contrite about the necessity of killing Bill. Bill was just in the way, after all, and wasn't actually the target, and the two seemed to be getting along pretty well until Pasquale struck. Pasquale stayed with Bill until he died so the man wouldn't die alone.
Creator Cameo: Director Joe Carnahan as one of Israel's men during a flashback sequence.
Death Dealer: Buddy Israel can toss a card well enough to cut and distract his bodyguard, who was about to kill him for being willing to sell him out.
Decoy Protagonist/Sacrificial Lamb: Ben Affleck's character who gets top billing but ultimately only gets to act as Mr. Exposition before getting shot unceremoniously. By the end of the movie it's clear that the real protagonist is Agent Messner.
Deep Cover Agent: Primo Sparazza a.k.a. Freeman Heller, in deep cover since the 40's.
Downer Ending: Only Ivy, Georgia and Soot manage to get away (relatively) intact. Hollis, if he's lucky, will be a multiple amputee for the rest of his life. Acosta, judging by his arm-blade being activated on the stretcher, might live, but is likely to be incarcerated. Sharice gets caught, and presumably killed, by the FBI while watching her partner walk out on her. Messner will most likely lose his job and/or go to jail after pulling the life support plugs. Everybody else... well...
Elevator Action Sequence: Several, considering the Carnival of Killers are racing each other to a hotel penthouse. First starts with Acosta and an actual FBI agent wounding each other - the FBI agent's mortally wounded, which kicks off Messner's reason for revenge later on. Then Georgia is trapped in the elevator after investigating the open elevator and signals for Sharice to open up on the incoming FBI agents...
Fingore: Hollis gets his left hand shot the hell up.
Genre Savvy: Once Ivy notices the smoke coming out of the elevator in front of him and Israel's security team, he starts slowly backing away. At which point the Tremor brothers burst out and massacre Israel's security team.
The Last Thing You Ever See: Played with. Acosta kills the casino's chief of security, but comforts him in his dying moments. He tells him to close his eyes so that his face won't be the last thing the guy will ever see, because (switching to Spanish) "Heaven may hold it against you".
Latex Perfection: Lazlo Soot heavily relies on death masks taken from victims to disguise himself.
Red Baron: The Swede. Everyone mistakes him as a hitman, due to his title. He's really an accomplished heart surgeon who was to be brought in after Lazlo got Buddy comatose and ready for the heart operation.
Shaggy Dog Story: At the end of the movie when everything is revealed and it transpires that the hit was one big mistake resulting from a mis-overheard conversation; Lazlo Soot was the only one actually hired and that was not to kill Israel but to abduct him. The Bureau then decided it only wanted Israel for his heart to save his Mob boss father and all the dead FBI agents died because they weren't told. Messner is so upset that his partner died just to save the life of the Mob boss, who he doesn't think will give up any useful information, that he pulls the plug on both him and Israel, making everything that happened for nothing.
Villain Exit Stage Left: Subverted for Darwin Tremor. Darwin looks like he's about to get away, but then he runs into Hollis on the way to his car. He apologises for what happened to Hollis and his friends and gives him the keys to his car. Just as it looks like they'll part ways peacefully, Hollis decides "oh, fuck this" and shoots Darwin anyway.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Lazlo Soot at the end, when he manages to get Israel all alone, the latter not even aware of the danger he's in, but puts his gun down and starts carefully setting up what appears to be a bunch of torture instruments, and a needle. Double Subverted. He was actually hired to knock him out and abduct him so doctors could steal his heart for a transplant; however, Soot still wastes too much time, and doesn't notice that Israel nearly commits suicide while he's doing so. On the other hand, however, at least it makes it easier for him to escape when the FBI comes in.
Assassins Ball provides examples of:
Awesome by Analysis: Finbar immediately susses that Ariella is another assassin, and that most of the people in the bar are feds.
Batman Gambit: Weed put the hit out on himself. He's actually a terrorist mastermind who used his mid level desk job to plot attacks and murders abroad, and used a number of lethal assassins to do it. The entire film is a ploy to get the assassins killed and fake his death to cover his own tracks.
Big Screwed-Up Family: The Tremors. Emphasis on "big" since Lester is the only one who is in both films; the other three are his brother, sister and dad.
Outlaw Couple: Finbar convinces Ariella to team up once he informs her the bar they are in is crawling with Federal Agents. They both die, but Ariella removes her poisoned lips to let Finbar kiss her, suggesting they had fallen for each other.
Villain Exit Stage Left: Subverted once again. Right when it looks like Weed/Leuco is about to make a standard, clean getaway at the end of the movie, Baker comes from nowhere and shoots him through the windshield. Doubles as Crowning Moment of Funny.