Rating: R for excessive violence, nudity and language
Run Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Jeremy Piven rides high as the quintessential bad boy of “Entourage” but can’t quite salvage this star-packed, blood-soaked copycat of a thriller.
Joe Carnahan borrows liberally from a wrung-out genre to craft a nefarious tale
of corruption and greed in
sputter when a hit is put out on Buddy with a $1 million price-tag on his head.
Which brings every Tom, Dick and Harry to
bounty hunters, a pair of kittenish hit-women and European assassins are all
gunning for Buddy, holed up in the slick penthouse suite of a swanky
Carnahan treads familiar ground here; his “Narc” was a tetchy high-octane thriller and one of my favorite films of 2003. “Aces” is of the rip-off genre; an homage to a litany of bigger and better morally neglectful pics (“Ocean’s Eleven”, “True Romance”, “Pulp Fiction”, etc. etc.) that never quite tracks its own groove.
“Aces” gives good attitude – packed with personality and a slapdash
rock-and-roll mayhem. The cast is a glittery who’s-who of
Piven plays it with Sinatra-like sleaze, perfectly convincing as a showy player who takes excess to the max. The carnage is unfortunately gratuitous, ruthlessly over-the-top even for this guts-and-glory junkie.
Zany energy and narrative spunk ultimately tapers off to a series of slick but silly plot devices that drag the action over the finish line with a resounding and disappointing thud.