Thank you for not smokin’

When Vegas illusionist and wannabe mobster Buddy “Aces” Israel turn FBI snitch his evidence threatens to bring down the already crumbling Mob, a hit is announced and one million dollars is enough to bring hit men (and women) of all shapes and sizes in a frantic white knuckle race that will leave you on the edge of your seat and gasping for air…

Or rather it won’t, see what I did there? I disappointed you. Now, no matter how good this review is, you still will judge it with that disappointment in mind. That why its so tough to review this film, the first half an hour or so is full of the flashy cuts, bright colours, lager than life dialogue, and also about a movies worth of plot. Which is fine with me, I’m pretty much a style over content hyper fast edit junkie anyway (I liked Crank!), it pretty much plays like a trailer for the next hour or so of the film, you know, all the good bits.

But then the tone shifts and rather than the hectic mother of all showdowns, we are given a series of increasingly grim events and disjointed skirmishes that flip from tounge in cheek dark humour to tense dramatic face offs.

Now this doesn’t make for a bad film, the ensamble cast act the shit out of there given roles and the director Joe Carnahan, although scaled down compared to the first half hour, still uses all the tricks in the editing book to keep hyperactive child brains, like mine, entertained. But that doesn’t change the fact that the tone and pace is very different from the one promised, first by the trailers then by its own first half hour.

A notable performance from Ryan Reynolds, going well towards earning his lead man chops and proving there is more to his repertoire than the charming smart arse. Also Jeremy Piven “Aces” himself stands out from a impeccable cast, as the only one who gets entirely comfortable and handles the change of tone of the film.

The obligation to resolve the film in a meaningful way leads to a satisfactory but barely credible plot twist, that the non-idiots amongst you will at least half see it coming.

Comparisons to Tarantino and Guy Ritchie are inevitable but try not to let that put you off. (See not too disappointing, I hope).

Advertisements