Smokin’ Aces (2006)

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*. The idea was solid, if familiar in a comic-book sort of way. It should have made for a better movie. What went wrong?
*. A lot of things, but mostly the script. Nothing interesting comes out of any of the characters’ mouths. Nothing.
*. I was looking forward to a bundling up of all the loose threads as the various storylines came together and resolved. That didn’t happen.
*. I mean . . . wow. They really had no idea how to end this movie, did they? And the alternate ending is even worse, which shouldn’t have been possible. As for letting most of the characters just drift offscreen . . . I guess it would have been too hard to sort everything out.
*. Buddy Israel is a thoroughly dislikeable figure, and given what the hero does to him at the end I couldn’t understand the flailing attempts at making us feel sympathy for him.
*. It just seems to me that the tone of this movie is all wrong. Or, to be more precise, that it could never settle on a single tone. Scenes that should be funny, like Buddy finding Hugo’s cum stains on his jacket, aren’t. They just make Buddy out to be an angry, spoiled jerk. Or what about Acosta’s dreamy dispacth of Bill, the hotel’s security chief? This from a sadistic mercenary? It makes no sense.
*. The explanation of what was really going on was absurd, bordering on offensive. The FBI was planning to kidnap and kill Israel so that they could steal his heart and transplant it into this 90- or even 100-year-old father (good luck with that!) so that the father could then tell them all sorts of war stories about the mob’s golden age and maybe spill the beans on where Jimmy Hoffa was buried? And then the good FBI agent just sits down and kills them both! For the hell of it? I mean, that’s not even trying.
*. The odd characters should have been more interesting. Instead, they seem like the teens in a slasher film: just meat to be disposed of in different ways. And not even very interesting ways at that.
*. I don’t see how shooting that massive .50 cal rifle while it’s propped up on a bed would work. That’s not a firm base for such a heavy weapon.
*. I did enjoy all the stuff with Warren and his mom. That was pretty funny. Though, along with the Jason Bateman part, it was completely extraenous to the rest of the movie. And the Bateman bits, like so much else in the movie, weren’t funny or weird. They just felt uncomfortable.

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