7 and 7 Review: Smokin Aces

Sometimes you try to answer questions that you were never really asked. While I’m a fan of new releases in entertainment, I also divert a lot of my time and attention to older products. Movies and games from generations pass or trying to fill out my comic reading history and the likes.

I’ve always wanted to share my thoughts on these things, but never felt it was necessary to add some 500 words on a subject that people have probably dissected in every interesting manner beforehand. Over the past week or so though, I’ve been stuck on this idea again and with the site adapting “7″ as our unofficial number, ideas began to form in my head.

Introducing 7 and 7 Reviews. The gist of it will be a more short-form review that highlights 7 core aspects of a product and how it adds up to the overall experience. Much like our reviews, we will also score these out of 7, hence the 7 & 7 title. As always, it is a work in progress so it will most likely go through some changes and modifications until we’re happy with it.

To kick it off, we’re going to look at Smokin’ Aces, a film from 2006 that I wanted to revisit because I owned an unopened DVD of it!

Smokin’ Aces is a 2006 American crime film written and directed by Joe Carnahan. It stars Jeremy Piven as a Las Vegas magician turned mafia informant and Ryan Reynolds as the FBI agent assigned to protect him.
  1. Excessive Exposition- I thought the film opening up with a 10 minute scene of exposition was pretty bad, but then it never quite ends setting everything up. It doesn’t make for an interesting film especially…
  2. Unremarkable Characters- There are more than a dozen characters spotlighted in this film from the FBI to various factions of assassins and mercenaries. Most of them don’t get enough screen-time to be interesting or leave an impression on the audience except…
  3. Ritalin-inspired child- The stand-out role in this film for me. The kid has only a handful of scenes, but he is so over-the-top and off-the-wall, it just sticks in your mind. He brings a certain amount of frantic energy that the rest of the film needed.
  4. Predictable Plot Twist- Being predictable and logical are sometimes one and the same, but the movie builds up this big mobster they are going after for killing an FBI agent, and from the first scene you know the character is one and the same. It really takes away from the pacing since they spend A LOT of time on it…
  5. Constant flashbacks- The movie uses the scene of the FBI agent being shot more than half a dozen times. It gets old and annoying fairly quickly! Sadly, the movie in the current day isn’t much more interesting..
  6. Forced Romance- This is an action movie with an ensemble cast, but this film still finds a way to work an odd love triangle into the film. Again doesn’t add much to the film nor the characters presented in it.
  7. Light on Action- I remember this movie being sold on the prospect of some insane action sequences, and the movie does build towards it, but time has not been kind. The action just felt flat and cartoony. Perhaps, if they embraced the cartoon-esque aspect of it more and ran with it would have been a more enjoyable film.

Score 3 (out of 7)- There’s just not enough substance here to sustain a quality movie even though they beat you over the head with exposition!

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