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Smokin' Aces


Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Ben Affleck, Jeremy Piven, Alicia Keys, Andy Garcia, Peter Berg, Taraji P Henson, David Proval

Director: Joe Carnahan

If you thought Apocalypto was violent, get a load of this one. Scumbag singer 'Aces' Israel (Piven, superbly slimy) is about to rat on his friends in the Mafia - and various hit-people are assigned to assassinate the 'great white whale of snitches', while the FBI (Reynolds, Liotta, Garcia) fight to save him.

Among those out to collect a million-dollar bounty are two black chicks (Keys and Henson) with one big mother of a gun; three chainsaw-wielding crazies; three chancers (led by Affleck) with a plan; a mysterious Swede; and a master of disguise who, like all the others, 'never fails'.

After preliminary skirmishes, all parties converge on the 42nd floor of a Lake Tahoe hotel, where Aces is holed up with half-a-dozen hookers in the Presidential suite. Wholesale slaughter ensues, with few grisly possibilities left unexplored.

Boring dialogue and mind-numbing action mingle in a film that resembles role-heavy turkeys of decades ago. Everyone emotes heavily and the movie is probably best seen at a late, late showing with a six-pack at your side. Why Affleck wanted to play the role he has isn't easy to understand.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Momentum. Technicolor.
108 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 08 Jan 2007