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Directed by P.J. Pesce
Starring Tom Berenger, Michael Parks, Vinnie Jones, Ernie Hudson

“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”
Oscar Wilde

The original Smokin Aces became a bit of a cult hit once it hit DVD, much in the same way as The Boondock Saints did. Now, if you look at the filmography of the director P.J Pesce, which includes Lost Boys: The Tribe and From Dusk Til Dawn 3: The Hangmans Daughter, you might avoid this movie. But, should you give it a chance?

The Movie

Walter Weed (Tom Berenger), when he isn’t showing off his many card tricks, pushes papers in a nondescript government office. But somehow, he has been targeted for assignation. So, Walter is not having your typical day at work.

Enter into the plot Agent Baker (Clayne Crawford). Walter enlists Baker’s help to protect him. Baker is not alone; he has a whole slew of baddies to help him in this endeavor: Fritz Tremor (Michael Parks), a nasty hillbilly, the ever changing Lazlo Soot (Tommy Flanagan), the king of torture Finbar (Vinnie Jones), the attractive Kaitlyn (Autumn Reeser) and the Latin bombshell Ariella (Martha Higareda) who has a stylish way of dispatching her victims.

Somehow there is a 3 million dollar reward for Walter so I now ask: can you predict what is going to happen next? Will Walter survive until the 3rd act of the film or will one of this cohorts turn coat to collect the big chunk of change?

If you have seen the original Smokin Aces, this film is just a copy of that film, so expect over the top action, violence and if you have a fear or hatred of clowns, you are going to be particularly happy with one segment of the film.

There isn’t much room for plot or character development in a film like this. This is strictly 88 minutes of sexy ladies, snappy lines, carnage and gun play a plenty.

So, is this film a winner? I have seen this type of film done a lot better. And while Michael Parks and Vinnie Jones are always a kick to see in a film, the others in the film are just serviceable.

But, not every film like this can be Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction or even Shoot Em Up or Crank. But is this worth even an add to the Netlfix queue? Perhaps that depends on how badly you need to see this “type” of film.

This film was mildly entertaining, but unfortunately fails more than it succeeds.

So, I guess add it to the Netflix queue if you are starving for some B grade action. Otherwise, you can skip this one.


The Video

Smokin Aces 2:Assassins Ball is presented in non Anamorphic 1080 p widescreen. The colors are vibrant and the overall image is very respectable. The black levels are respectable and the level of detail is impressive.


The Audio

Smokin Aces 2: Assassins Ball is presented in DTS HD 5. 1 in English with optional French and Spanish Audio and subtitles. English subtitles are also available. The audio is impressive with the dialogue being crystal clear and well mixed with the sound effects and soundtrack.


The Packaging and Bonus Features

Smokin  Aces 2: Assassins Ball is standard blu ray amaray case.

Some nice bonus features await your perusal on this release. First up, a commentary track with the director P.J. Pesce and producer Joe Carnahan. It is informative and entertaining and if you liked the film, you will enjoy this.

The Bunker Mentality covers the film’s sets and there are several behind the scenes featurettes covering everything from weaponry to information on how the infamous clown scene was filmed.

Finally, there is a gag reel and several deleted scenes for you to enjoy.


Overall (Not an Average) 6/10

The Review
The Movie 5/10
The Video 7.5/10
The Audio 7.5/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall (not an average) 5.5/10