Genre: Action, Crime, Comedy
Directed by Joe Carnahan
Starring A LOT OF FAMOUS PEOPLE
It takes a certain type of filmmaker to make a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously, but doesn’t smugly rub it in your face for self-appreciation. Joe Carnahan is that type of filmmaker and Smokin’ Aces is just that kind of movie. It's not a surprise if you watch his debut feature "Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane," a no-budget movie that plays out exactly like the title suggests. With Smokin' Aces he's given a budget and he uses it well. The list of famous faces that appear in this movie is endless. Many of those faces have only become famous since their appearance in Smokin’ Aces and that’s a testament to Carnahan’s gut instinct for star power.
What’s the movie about? Who knows and who cares. Something about everyone wanting to wack out Robert ‘Buddy Aces’ Israel, a mafia turncoat played by Jeremy Piven (he’s in this too). The point of the movie is to keep the audience smiling, to let adults remember that feeling everyone has when they’re 5 years old and entering Disney World for the first time. It does that very well. There’s a lot of gunfire, crazy characters, and cursing. A lot of movies have this, but they all suffer from a common flaw: fatigue. You get tired of the roller coaster and that’s why Carnahan deserves a lot of credit for being able to make this kind of movie that carries the viewer from start to finish. One of the reasons for that success is that he doesn’t rely on the action and humor. That’s just some garlic salt on the real backbone of this movie.
Chris Pine, Jason Bateman, Common, Alicia Keys, and Andy Garcia. Some more faces you’ll recognize. The reason why I keep mentioning the cast is because Carnahan is a master at picking personalities and letting them do what they do best on screen. He creates a circus of characters and let’s them carry the movie. If you watch Smokin’ Aces, you’ll have a good time. You won’t sit still after the movie finishes, reflecting on your own experiences and pontificating about the deeper meaning of the universe. That’s ok. Sometimes we just need to go to Disney World.