Original concepts, fresh dialogue and quality talent are all missing from the latest con-capper. Besides Smokin‘ Aces, intense action and graphic language, this is a film aimed directly at sustaining the attention of a five year-old whose just run out of Ritalin or a person suffering from ADHD. Once it is stripped away of its flashy super-facial exterior, all Smokin‘ Aces has to offer is a nonexistent story and a handful of uninspired performances. The film is just outright bad, but has the audacity to parade itself around as if it was a champion show dog. This is what makes a pretentious “turkey” unforgivable; it has visions of grandeur but the finished product is nothing more than a patchwork of other better films (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).
The plot, or so they would have you think, is a singular concept; a mob witness is held-up in a swank Las Vegas suite, meanwhile unbeknown to him a gaggle of bizarre hired assassins are on his tail. And that is really it. Smokin’ Aces is one of the few films that lends no insights, no character development and absolutely no sign of intelligence. Ace, unconvincingly played by Jeremy Piven, surrounds himself with a group of slightly “slow” bodyguards and a plethora of prostitutes when audiences are first introduced to his character. This solitaire scene comes to symbolize the entire 90-plus minute run-time: empty but chock full of tantalizing eye candy.
The film’s direction is scatterbrained without a clear central focus: one minute three men are shot dead then next thing you realize is there’s a boy doing karate with an erection. Oh, yes the creative team behind this flick packed in everything they could except a sliver of substance.
Smokin’ Aces‘ cast does what it can with the meager helpings supplied by a poorly, cliche-ridden script. Still, everyone from Ryan Reynolds to Alicia Keys come off stiff and frankly unbelievable.
In better hands, Smokin’ Aces could have been a mediocre but enjoyable slice of popcorn entertainment which audiences love. Instead moviegoers are delivered a mess of stillborn ideas.