Bullet Points: Smokin’ Aces: Assassins’ Ball
Released four years after the original Smokin’ Aces, this sequel attempts to ramp up the crazy action while continuing the thriller aspect set forth in the original film. An impressive cast of characters are once again brought together to provide the movie with bullets, babes, and enough throat-slashing assassinations to keep your interest till the block shattering conclusion.
Synopsis: An FBI intelligence analyst finds himself being hunted by a legion of crazed assassins. A group of FBI agents and the wheelchair bound target hole up in a secure bunker but these killers seem to have an “ace in hole” when it comes to finding their prey.
- A Cast of Assassins: I would consider this as the most impressive part about this sequel. Vinnie Jones, Tommy Flanagan, and Michael Parks are the most notable and they do their best to carry a good part of this film. In fact, the assassins were easily my favorite part of the movie. Tommy Flanagan should have had more screentime as he was reprising his role from the original but Michael Parks is given just enough “Michael Parks lines” to make you appreciate his involvement.
- Runtime Woes: The film had a runtime just under 90 minutes which I would say is perfect for this type of movie. The problem I had was that the first half of the film was setting up Tom Berenger and Clayne Crawford’s characters but it should have been expediting the story to get to the action. Too much talk not enough explosions.
- It’s all about Tom: The Legendary Tom Berenger carries the plot of the film. He’s the meek, handicapped man with a target on his back but I still have a hard time not seeing him as a badass. There is a subtle reference to a couple of Berenger’s past films but I would have rather Tom pulled out a sniper rifle and blasted a couple of fools instead.
- Babes: A definite upgrade in T & A category sees Martha Higareda and Autumn Reeser strut around in skimpy enough clothes to give Bernie Sanders a stiffy.
- Unique Weaponry: The assassins employ anything and everything at their disposal to kill poor Tom. RPG’s, machine guns, poisoned lip gloss, sharp sticks, and circus midgets strapped with explosives fired from a cannon. That about covers them all.
If you’re still breathing, check out the Bullet Points:
- Tommy Flanagan’s character wears masks of other men. That is a serious waste of his kickass facial scar when he has it covered for most of the movie.
- A huge pet peeve of mine in action movies is when people hide behind tiny little tables during gun fights. Don’t they know bullets will go through those ?
- I definitely didn’t like how this movie tried to tie in real world events with some of the characters.
- A special late appearance by Ernie Hudson !
The Verdict: This movie is so similar in nature to the original that it would have to out-do it in a couple of different categories in order to improve on it. Sadly, it did jack squat. This movie, however, does make for an entertaining direct to video watch. The supporting cast of killers are quite fun to watch and although the CGI explosions are silly looking, so is the idea of a cannon fired exploding circus midget.