ADVISORY NOTICE – I advise all who want to see the film Smokin’ Aces to go to a free screening and treat yourself to a large popcorn and soda.
If you’re like everybody at the full-to-capacity screening that I attended, you’ll love it and you’ll announce that fact to everyone within earshot.
But then who doesn’t love a cigarette and booze filled, blood splattering thriller with tasteful glimpses of T&A? I suppose many might not love that at all, but who doesn’t love a multi-character picture in the tradition of Reservoir Dogs or Clooney’s Ocean’s franchise?
Every last person on Earth, right? Now imagine this type of film with an extremely solid cast of B-list celebrities.
This is that movie: Wayne Newton (OK, obviously A-list but with a small role); Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder, formerly engaged to Alanis); Andy Garcia (you know this guy); Jason Bateman (from TV); Ray Liotta (gangster movie icon); Jeremy Piven (you’d probably recognize him); Common and Alicia Keys (music celebrities); Booger (Booger from The Nerds franchise makes cameo) and Ben Affleck (formerly of Bennifer).
In brief, disparate groups vie for the bounty offered for a mob sanctioned hit as the authorities attempt to intervene.
Select notable elements: a Missy Elliott meets Divine via Samuel Jackson type feminist hit-woman; some very entertaining “speed freak neo-nazi assholes” (actually Meth-fueled, post-apocalyptic-future styled punks); Jason Bateman as a cartoonish update of Nicholson’s Easy Rider character and Andy Garcia does this bizarre, southern gentleman meets Miami-based-Cubano accent.
Writer and director Carnahan uses an excess of fast-moving pans and cuts, he also likes to play up cinematic elements like red eyes, irritated coke noses, and cold sores; he also relies heavily on voice over narration with lines like: “that pair of broads who took out them Triads.” with swearing.
Carnahan attempts to sidestep calls of “clich