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Thanks to Don for posting a draft of the screenplay on Simply Scripts, I was able to take notice of the ultra-violent "Smokin Aces" today in theaters. I fear if he never would have done that I would have missed this film. And what a shame that would have been...
Smokin Aces was written and directed by Joe Carnahan, who has replaced M. Night Shyamalan as my greatest inspiration for screenwriting and filmmaking as a whole. I have never seen his previous film "Narc" but after seeing Smokin Aces I will most definately give that one a look and every single film that he makes in the future.
The plotline of Smokin Aces is fairly simple. A mob boss puts out a hit against a "snitch" by the name of Buddy "Aces" Isreal that is looking to tell all to the Feds in exchange for Protective Custody and total amnesty. The FBI wants Israel alive obviously, but the bounty of $1 million is just too tempting for the great hitmen in this world and word spreads fast. In less than a day, hitman of all races, genders, colors, and social classes descend upon Lake Tahoe, Utah to kill Israel while the Feds, Bailbondsmen, and Vice Cops all try and thwart them. Buckets of blood spill, dirt naps are handed out, and NO ONE is immune. There were a lot of stars in this film, but that didn't stop them from taking a bullet.
As for the characters, I loved all of them. They each had a quirk about them that made them unique, yet all had that cliche archetype molded in to them as well. My favorite by far though was Georgia Sykes played by a ridiculously hot Alicia Keys. Some of the dialogue that comes out of this woman's mouth is just so funny and witty that I forgot I was watching a scripted movie. Other characters played are a South American torture expert, a master of disguses, Georgia's lesbian assassin partner, a brain dead Russian, and so on. And of course the always great Jeremy Piven as Buddy Isreal. I read his dialogue in the draft on Simply Script, but it just didn't sound as good as he made it in the film. He just knows how to morph a charcter into pure gold Just great characters all around.
The film has a few plot twists here and there, but nothing spectacular. I already knew the twist going in so obviously I wasn't surprised, but a few of the patrons at the theater I was at had the "Oh!" look on their face when the final act played out. So the suspense was there, the action was tight, and the dialogue was witty.
This film moved EXTREMELY fast. If you have even a mild form of ADD you will be lost after the first two minutes of the film. No one liners in this film. Everyone nearly speaks in soliloquy and monologue form, but not to the point where it gets repetitive. The dialogue works and it makes the film that much more entertaining with the different ways the characters speak their lines.
Overall this film is one of the best action/comedy/thriller films to come out in a long time. I enjoyed this film so much even after reading the script and knowing what happens. Some things were changed but the basic plot line remained the same, but the way Carnahan put together this movie, you almost have to WANT to hate it in order to. From beginning to end it's just a blast, the violence was even over the top to satisfy the gorehounds, and just great characters across the board, and of course the gorgeous Alicia Keys running around in bra and panties shooting people up. Ahh....does it get any better than this?
i actually saw this movie on DVD since it just came out and i have to say i completely disagree with everything
The characters weren't interesting to me, just stupid and over the top. There were no funny lines that I remember and quite frankly I didn't care about any of the characters. Some of the characters were completely unecessary (the karate kid) and the three german brothers just made me mad. Such stupid characters. I know it's supposed to be over the top but come on, three german madmen running around with chainsaws was completely stupid. The movie was just violence for the sake of violence. The plot was trying to be to smart and ended up being just a cheesey set up for some excessive amounts of gore. Now I don't mind violent movies, I like pulp fiction, and kill bill and the likes but this was just violence for the sake of violence. Such an indredibly dumb plot, and don't even get me started about the...
ENDING! I watched it with two other people and at the end we just looked at each other in disguist at the crazy "look how smart I am" ending that was probably one of the lamest closings to any film I've ever seen. It just got so stupid towards the end that it was hard to not laugh. The final plot twist and the explanation was just infuriatingly bad and lame. The character introductions were pretty good although again completely over the top and the buildup was alright but then the movie seemed to just de-rail and ended up as a disaster piece of a plot.
I Know it's supposed to be a crazy non-realistic action movie but it was just too much. I'm sure there are numerous people here who could take the idea of a hit out by several people on one guy and make it more exciting, suspenseful and overal more entertaining than this was. Terrible characters, a terrible script and mediocre directing. There were a few cool moments of directing but overal it wasn't even that impressive.
http://www.reelviews.net/movies/s/smokin_aces.html I read alot of reviews of this film and that one summarizes it perfectly. Everything in there is exactly how I felt and is the accurate representation of how I felt about the film. If you don't care about plot and just want violence and socially deranged characters then this is your movie. And if that's all you care about in your movies, then I feel sorry for you.
I guess I'm in between the "loved it" and "hated it" camps.
I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining film, but one with many, many flaws. First of all it tries to juggle drama and comedy like its idols in Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, only it pretty much fails. There were a lot of "look how hip and cool this is!" moments epitomized with the ninja-kid with ADD. That was just really, really stupid and so forced in its comedy. It reminded me of the kung fu kid in Cabin Fever.
At the same time we're supposed to be deeply involved in Ryan Reynolds disillusion in the third act when the sad music kicks in. The "twist" was extremely unsatisfactory and unecessary, not to mention the fact that it made NO SENSE that Ryan Reynolds pulled the plug at the end. Had he been told what was really going on, it wouldn't have changed ANYTHING. yet he ruins his own career and goes to jail because of some technicality that really didn't matter.
The action was good, though, and there were a lot of neat characters like Jason Bateman in the ensemble cast. I also liked how they wasted Ben Affleck within the first act.
I was entertained but also annoyed.
And WTF was up with Andy Garcia's dialect? I have no idea what he was going for.
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