Reviews: Smokin Aces

Yet another case of misadvertising

I WANT TO start by saying that when I use "MISADVERTISEMENT", I typically regard the term as neutral: you can still have excellent movie despite it being the opposite of what the audience expected or wanted. I just want to make that clear before saying that Smokin Aces is not one of those movies in the slightest. It is a movie which not only fails to give you what it appeared to promise, but also fails to provide a half decent alternative.

Smokin Aces sells itself on a simple, fun premise but the movie quickly crushes itself under circuitous plot twists, superfluous mysteries and misplaced drama. It at first appears to be a story about a dozen colourful hitmen all dogpiling on the same, illusive target. But rather than run with that, the focus switches to some utterly boring FBI agents who argue about compromise, integrity and cop bromance bullshit, all of which belong in a different movie. You can't go from cackling, chainsaw wielding, Nazi punks to gritty, serious drama in the same story. It won't work. The end result of all this is a stale, boring, over-written mess.

If you come into this movie expecting gun fun then you'll be disappointed, as the action is limited, uninspired, and not the focus. If you come looking for a tense, gritty, introspective movie, you'll also be disappointed because of the inherent silliness of the premise. There may be an audience for this kind of movie, but I don't know who.