January 28, 2007

Smoking Aces

Ah the frenetic, mad-cap, shoot-em-up criminal dark comedy. Thanks to Guy Richie and Tarantino, this has become a genre all its own, right next to serial killer thriller, romantic comedy and Dying of something Oscar bait.

Now this isn't the best entry in the genre, but it is a fun genre. A collection of wacky hit-men, hit-women and hit-things set out to kill Jermey Pivin's Buddy "Aces" Israel - a stage magician turned mobster turned informant. I'm not sure why a guy named Buddy Israel needs a nickname, but OK I'm just going to go with it.

Violence ensues, including the proper use of a .50 caliber sniper rifle and the misuse of chain saw. In one fight a security guard is lit on fire for what I'm guessing is no other reason than it looks cool.

Highlights include Alicia Keys as a smoky hit-chick, Ben Affleck doing fine work as both a mook of a bail bondsman and a corpse, and Jermey Pivin hitting rock bottom in fine fashion. When he looks out upon a luxury hotel room filled with passed-out hookers and weeps, I was genuinely moved.

Not Dying of Something Oscar Bait moved, but moved.

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