It’s sometimes good to look back on films with hindsight. Now in the age of John Wick and Atomic Blonde there was once an elevated predecessor to the throne of maniacal action ten years earlier. Except, it just wasn’t as crazy as it wanted to be.

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The problem I have with this film is that we all waited for a big payoff (excluding the obvious twist) and we didn’t get the action packed finale that we hoped for.

When a gallery of the worlds most notorious hit men and killers arrive at the same time to knock off one person in a hotel you would expect carnage to be let loose – it doesn’t.

It doesn’t and this lets the image of the film down drastically. For example the Tremor Brothers who are more like characters from ‘Mad Max’ are introduced as violent care free psychos and are built up to cause mayhem when they arrive at the hotel but when they charge out of the elevator it results in a multi-second shoot & slash out and ends all too abruptly. Shame because looking back, Chris Pine is on fine crazy form!

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A young crazy Chris Pine on the left!

I just feel that if you had the concept of a multiple contract killer story set in just one location at the end of the film then you would let loose wouldn’t ya? Surely? But the writers of this film seem somewhat scared to make it into a full-blown action film and I hate to say this but focus too much on the story and making twists happen.

There are some good moments in the movie, I thought Alicia Keys gives a nice performance but like Aaliyah before has not found the right role yet, I hope she does, as she could be one to watch out for. The white Karate Kid in the Hillbilly hut had no reason to be in the movie whatsoever but refreshingly spiced the film up and in a sense made me realise how ridiculous the whole thing was.

Ray Liotta just strolls through his part as usual & Ryan Reynolds isn’t too bad (in hindsight of where he was to go!) and the other actors do a good job as expected from the high calibre of talent on display – except Andy Garcia. Now, I’m English but I’m pretty sure whatever accent he was trying to pull off was not a well-known American one and he kept changing accent in different scenes. What was that all about?!

68DzpzWIOA54ooEvplDxtCfkWY5‘Smoking Aces’ is a confused film and doesn’t quite know what it wants to do with itself, by the end of the film after the incredibly & annoyingly short shoot out scene we are supposed to feel emotion for characters that we never really get to know and almost all of the contract killers walk out of the hotel alive which quite frankly, annoyed me even more.

It is a cool film in parts but the sum of its parts adds up to a bit of a mess and it is merely an average addition to the action genre that drifts too far off into drama territory and contrived twists that confuses the outcome of the film.

With a better script and more focus on the action as it should have been then ‘Smoking Aces’ would have been a quality action film but unfortunately disappoints in places where it was meant to be exciting. 5/10

SMOKIN’ ACES – 2.5/5

Written by Ben E Belton

The Barbarian! Lover of Drew Barrymore, hater of penguins. Sometimes an event producer & creative director. "Living and dying, we feed the fire."

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