Smokin' Aces


Joe Carnahan’s frenetic shoot-’em-up sees the would-be M:I:3 helmer step away from the psychological nuances of his gritty noir Narc and default back to the OTT mayhem of flashy 1998 debut Blood, Guts, Bullets And Octane. The result is a lurid QT clone filled to the brim with headcases, shell casings and bloated bullet ballets. Like an indulgent Cannonball Run for professional assassins, the needlessly-complex plot sees a rogue’s gallery of ne’er-do-wells – among them hit-woman Alicia Keys and bail bondsman Ben Affleck – converge on Lake Tahoe to collect the $1m bounty the mob has put on the head of stage magician Buddy ‘Aces’ Israel (Jeremy Piven). Inevitably, the hotel ends up being turned into bloody carnage, though not before reams of expletive-strewn dialogue, macho swagger and sundry scenes of brutality and torture have bored the viewer senseless.


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