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Starring: Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Alicia Keys, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Peter Berg, Martin Henderson, Taraji Henson
Director: Joe Carnahan
Rating: M18 (Coarse Language And Violence)
Year Made: 2007







Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Malay/
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 48 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Berjaya HVN




When a Mob boss takes out a million dollar hit on Buddy 'Aces' Israel - a sleazy Vegas showman turned FBI snitch- the Feds placed Buddy in protective custody at a penthouse hide-out. While Buddy kills time with hookers, booze and drugs, an outrageous rogue's gallery of ultra-violent mobsters, smoking hot assassins and ruthless hit men are bringing chainsaws, grenades, shotguns, knives and more to the hunt to rub out Aces and collect that cool million bucks.


There was once a film called Pulp Fiction. And the cult hit was directed by a certain maverick named Quentin Tarantino. The year this bloody hit man drama was made? 1994.

Fast forward 13 years and director Joe Carnahan (Narc, Ticker) tries to make a Tarantino-style black comedy called Smokin’ Aces. The result? A terrible mess that has far too many characters, far too many mindless gunfights and bloodsheds, and worst of all, a plot that wrecks brains in the most torturous manner.

Jeremy Piven (TV’s Entourage) plays a Las Vegas magician turned gangster who has decided to testify against the triads. The state places him in custody protection, but that does not stop a motley crew of assassins, mobsters and hit men from hunting him down.

Sounds like a simple story? We thought so too.

But before long, this 108-minute movie lost us with its senseless violence, ridiculous sadism and disengaging plot. While we thought that we would at least care for one of the many characters, we found ourselves fiddling with the fast forward button because none of the array of personalities is any bit appealing.

Nope, none of the stellar cast ranging from Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta or Alicia Keys (in her film debut, poor girl) can save the day.

Every ten minutes or so, we would be caught off guard by loud gun shoots, decapitated limbs, coarse vulgarities and occasionally scantily-clad women. Although these scenes have been stylishly shot, and showcase the editor’s flair for snazzy editing, the overemphasis on style (and not substance) makes this flick an unsatisfying watch.

The colors and effect may be flashy in this M18 movie; the testosterone level may be high for this male-dominated movie; but ultimately, it is not difficult for viewers to realize that it is an empty shell that will leave you numb in the seat.


This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.


The disc’s visual transfer glorifies the scenes which feature violence, blood and gore, while the film is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1.



Review by John Li


Alternative Opinion:

. The movie review by our columnist

. Smokin' Aces (Soundtrack Review)

Other titles from HVN Berjaya:

. Dreamgirls

. Catch A Fire

. The Holiday

. Man Of The Year

. Napoleon Dynamite

. Flushed Away

. Coach Carter

. Children Of Men

. Barnyard

. World Trade Centre

. Accepted

. Nacho Libre

. Stay Alive

. Miami Vice

. United 93

. You, Me and Dupree

. M:I:3

. Over The Hedge

. The Break-Up

. Curious George

. American Dreamz

. Bring It On All Or Nothing

. Aeon Flux

. Inside Man

. Elizabethtown

. Spongebob Squarepants Movie

. Four Brothers

. War Of The Worlds

. Munich

. Two for the Money

. King Kong

. American Pie: Band Camp

. Surviving Christmas

. Perfect Man, The

. Madagascar


This review is made possible with the kind support from HVN Berjaya


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