The Smoking Aces Post

Jeremy Piven is Buddy ‘Aces’ Israel, a Vegas showman turned smalltime gangster. Unfortunately he got too chummy with the big guys in the crime world, and wasn’t low key enough to not get busted. So the feds come down on him and turn the wannabe gangster into a snitch. This doesn’t go over well with the mafia, who put a bounty on his head and cause a whole slew of unsavory characters to make attempts in Buddy’s life.

The plot; awesome, The lineup of actors; impressive. So why does this movie leave a bad taste in your mouth and ultimately walking to the exit disappointed? The ending.

There are so many cool characters, interesting subplots and fantastic situations in this movie than it can handle. So to tie it all together the ending seems lackluster in all but a few of the sub-stories. However the ‘main’ storyline with Buddy, the Feds and the Mafia has the worst ending I’ve seen in a long time. It’s flawed, its outlandish, it doesn’t fit the plot arc and it generally cheapens the overall movie and the character’s integrity along with it. But the cast does a terrific job (less Andy Garcia; who seems to be limiting himself to one-tone dialog and no more than 2 facial expressions the whole movie), and the cameos and bit roles from stars like Jason Bateman are brilliant. Alicia Keys makes her acting debut here as a hit-woman, and does a surprisingly good job of playing a cool and collected killer.

Overall it’s a great movie until the last chapter. So if you time your popcorn and bathroom breaks right it could be the best movie you ever missed the end of.

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