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Review

‘Smokin’ Aces’ leaves a number of questions

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February 1, 2007

Our ol’ Van Wilder finally graduated from college and became a cop; a passionate, slightly overdramatic cop. You can always trust this man, whether he is a college-party lover or giving CPR to his fellow FBI agents. Among the unusual all-star cast, I did not expect Ryan Reynolds to play one of my favorite characters in “Smokin’ Aces.”

Upon going into the movie, I held little respect for it, merely because of the ‘Ben Affleck’ name plastered on all of the posters and trailers. Luckily, the name was only a marketing scheme.

Reynolds, the top FBI agent, is protecting a Las Vegas performer-turned-gangster, Buddy “Aces” Israel (Jeremy Piven), whom has agreed to rat out his fellow mob members.

While in protective custody of what appears to be a swank Vegas penthouse suite, word spreads to numerous hit men (and women) of Israel’s hide out.

Maybe it’s because I don’t watch many crime/action movies, or maybe it was because I don’t think with a ‘business mind,’ or maybe it’s because I was distracted by the performances of new actors, but I had a terrible time following the plot of the movie. I found myself confused as to why particular people wanted the man dead.
Other questions arose in my head during the viewing like, ‘Why did that guy just kill that other guy?’ Also, ‘Is that guy buddies with that guy?’

Then I thought that these questions I had were completely irrelevant because of the bloodiness and mild gore that filled the voids. After all, it’s an action movie, logistics < sweet fight scenes.

I continued to be relieved of my cynicism as the movie progressed with its visual eye-candy and fast-paced movement.

There were few things that didn’t rub me right with the movie, such as nerdy hotel security guards with puss-filled pimples that seemed to increase in number throughout the movie. Israel’s unimpressive card tricks become annoying quickly, especially since the audience doesn’t know why his nickname is “Aces.”

Despite the occasional faults, “Smokin’ Aces” bounced back and forth hitting the audience with “Ocean’s 11”(-13)-esque double screen shots pulling and pushing each other out of the screen.

A small scene with Jason Bateman as ‘The Lawyer’ stole most of the comedy bits of the whole movie into one or two appearances.

Alicia Keys, in her first film role, portrayed a potential lesbian contract killer with fishnet stockings called Georgia Sykes.

Though boasting her breasts and feminism in the movie, she proved that if you’re a woman that can’t really act, you better have a smokin’ hot body, and you better flaunt it if you want to be cast in any other films for the rest of your life.

Along with Keys’ character, I thoroughly enjoyed every scene with the Tremor brothers.

This group of massacre-causing, tattoo covered, machine gun-toting rednecks were the most unpredictable and colorful of all the characters of the movie. Everyone else just looked like white guys in suits and ties with a gun in a hip holster.

When it comes to it, “Smokin’ Aces” only won the popularity contest.

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.