This movie should get high marks for its style, but everything about its style that is likable, was ripped off from Guy Ritchie. The plot is sooo out there, that I can only imagine that the writer, director... producers and pretty much every studio exec was doing more blow than the characters in the film.
I got the distinct feeling that the ending was done in re-shoots. There are only two main characters in the entire ending. And the ending is basically Andy Garcia reading you the reveal, as one gigantic paragraph. Something tells me this was not the original ending.
At its best, the movie is a psychedelic, post-modernist romp through the crime genre. All the usual wash-outs and degenerates from the Mickey Spillane novels are here, but they have a 21st century spin to them. High high marks for Jason Bateman. His cameo appearance is almost worth the price of admission.
The violent scenes are pretty much the best part of the film, and some of them are genuinely tense. But they are filled with glaring holes. Time and again, cops and security guards fail to follow basic precautions and wind up getting killed for it. Alicia Keys and Ryan Reynolds are miscast. Andy Garcia! Holy cow, what does he call that accent? Southern/Boston.
Most of the pivotal events of the film are based around happenstance and freak luck. Without getting into the details, the ending is unbelievably hack and unimaginative. Put it this way, the emotional core of the story is based around a character that we never meet, except in flashbacks. And the inciting incident of the film (the hit being put on Israel) appears to have been a giant misunderstanding. (the guy said they wanted "Israel's heart". They construed that to mean they wanted him dead. But who put the million dollars in a swiss bank account and told every hit man in the Western Hemisphere that they could have it for killing him? Makes no sense) What a rip off!!
High Points: 1) Jason Bateman (is AMAZING, in fact I swear that when he is slapping high-fives in the hotel room, Ben Affleck is struggling to keep a straight face.) 2) The Neo-Nazi characters (even though it felt as though they had been lifted from Big Lebowski and The Road Warrior). Their malevolence is so gleeful that it's contagious. 3) Jeremy Piven's coked-out, paranoid Israel. If there is a shred of human emotional core to this film, this is it. He nails the character, both megalomaniacal and insecure. As his situation becomes increasingly desperate, he sinks further and further into self-delusion. The camera trains on his eyes and Piven somehow builds a universe of frailty inside. It's wonderful.
Low Points: 1) Andy Freakin' Garcia (yeesh!). Speaking of a universe of self-delusion. Watching an actor slip in and out of an accent is like listening to a guitarist play out-of-tune. But it is clear that Andy Garcia is utterly convinced of his own prowess. Sad. 2) Guy Ritchie rip-offs everywhere 3) Movie begins and ends with tons of back story given in paragraph form. Always a bad sign. 4) The sense of time is extremely distorted (I swear the skinheads were riding the elevator up to the penthouse for twenty minutes) 5) The cops and security guards in this movie are only one step above Keystone Cops. Bumbling idiots who fall for the flimsiest deceits. 6) There are at least five characters who take a ton of bullets, and somehow live through it. And when I say a ton of bullets, I'm talk ten to twenty at point blank range. One is difficult to believe, but it happens over and over again. 7) Everything about Alicia Keys' exit from the building is contrived and impossible to believe. 8) The writer and director seem to treat story like style and style like story. The story behind this movie is confusing at best and ridiculous and contrived at worst and serves only as a silly excuse to get Nazis and Lesbians and coke-heads and cross-dressers together for an orgy of violence and cool dialog.
Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
Mob boss Primo Sparazza has taken out a hefty contract on Buddy "Aces" Israel, a sleazy magician who has agreed to turn state's evidence against the Vegas mob. The FBI, sensing a chance to use this small-time con to bring down big-target Sparazza, places Aces into protective custody-under the supervision of two agents dispatched to Aces' Lake Tahoe hideout. When the word of the price on Aces' head spreads into the community of ex-cons and cons-to-be, it entices bounty hunters, thugs-for-hire, deadly vixens and double-crossing mobsters to join in the hunt. With all eyes on Tahoe, this rogues' gallery collides in a comic race to hit the jackpot and rub out Aces.
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March 27, 2015 at 06:54 PM