Review of “Smokin’Aces”


The film degenerates into a rapid succession of violent scenes as the assassins kill each other, innocent hotel employees, and several FBI agents, including Carruthers, as they try to gain access to the penthouse to kill Israel, who spends his time consuming increasing amounts of cocaine.

At one point, Sykes and Watters hear gunshots coming from the penthouse, and Watters is sure someone has beaten them to Israel. She wants to give up, telling Sykes they could stay in Tahoe, gamble, have fun, and maybe even stay the night. Sykes is not convinced, and is determined to reach the penthouse and kill Israel.

After a series of unlikely events, Sykes ends up in an elevator with Carruthers and Acosta after the two men have shot each other and are both dying. The elevator opens, she is greeted by shots from the FBI and is hit despite help from Watters in the neighboring hotel. After getting shot, Sykes has trouble talking to Watters through their radio and she disconnects it. Watters assumes she was killed and becomes despondent, she shoots wildly and erratically from her window and gives away her position.

She begins crying and calling Sykes' name and is discovered and killed because rather than fleeing, she remains in the hotel room crying. As a final insult, the last thing she sees before dying is Sykes leaving the hotel in the arms of Israel 's bodyguard (Common) whom Sykes found, and flirted heavily with, on the penthouse floor.

Apparently, it is not enough for Watters to suffer through unrequited feelings for Sykes; she ends up paying for these feelings with her life.

This ending, which leaves one lesbian character dead and the other maybe-lesbian character in the arms of a man, is quite a disappointment given all the reports promising a lesbian love affair involving Keys' character.

In addition to its many other flaws, Smokin' Aces is poorly written. The characters have no depth and what masquerades as plot is merely one violent murder after the next. As explained, lecture-style, at the end of the film by FBI agent (Alex Garcia), the entire hunt for Israel was spurred by a colossal convoluted misunderstanding which makes even less sense than Alica Keys calling her character a lesbian.

Smokin' Aces confuses a complicated and unlikely conclusion with an intelligent plot and seems to think a star-studded cast will forgive the film's many shortcomings.

But nothing about this movie is smokin', least of all its lesbian content. Save your time and money and skip this one.

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