Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Smoking Aces (2007, Joe Carhaun)

As far as action movies go, this one is all right with me, since it contains plenty of action and interesting moments, to say the least. However, for some reason (probably having to do with the director being responsible for a far more intelligent movie previously in “Narc”), the movie also tries to elevate itself beyond the normal stupidity found in the genre. These efforts, for the most part, fail-yet they are noted and lightly appreciated, if only because the movie ends up becoming a big dumb action movie with a surprising ending.

Yes, I enjoyed the usual well-guided and executed mayhem, although there was some weird and out of place moments. Considering the movie’s subject material its cast is way too large, and also full of some well-regarded actors, coupled with a couple lesser-regarded actors/actresses. Standouts include the usually great Ray Liotta, the likable if harmless Ryan Renolds, and Matthew Fox (because of Lost) in a bit role. Jeremy Piven is also among the cast, but he does not do much, while Common felt a bit out of place and Alicia Keyes actually fit her role quiet well.

Having already given us the brilliant 2002 movie “Narc,” this is Joe Carhaun’s second effort, and in comparison to his first effort this is a disappointment, even thought it does manage to sport some really good parts and is highly entertaining. There is also plenty of humor here, but then most action movies are often intentional or unintentionally funny, since the genre itself is often quite silly.

This does not necessarily excuse some of “Smoking Aces” flaws (the ending belongs in a completely different movie, really) but it certainly helped me overlook some of them. Hopefully Carhaun brings us a third effort that is more up to the talent level of “Narc.” Especially since he already displays a decent amount of promise as a director. 71

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