Las Vegas performer Buddy Israel wants to be part of the mob and starts making enemies in the process. As Primo, one of those enemies, is dying he decides he wants Buddy’s heart, literally, and puts a price on his head. With multiple assassins out to get him Buddy tries desperately to make a deal with the government for protection.
Ryan Reynolds (Messner), Ray Liotta (Carruthers), Joseph Ruskin (Primo), Jeremy Piven (Buddy Israel), Ben Affleck (Jack), Peter Berg (Pistol), Andy Garcia (Locke), Alicia Keys (Georgia).
This plot is a lot more convoluted than that little synopsis which is a big part of what made this a pretty good film. That and a big dollar budget apparently. I hate comparing films but I kept thinking Ocean’s Eleven throughout the film. The initial setup reminded me of Tarantino but really the whole film felt like they took the signature moves from other films, threw them all together with a half-decent plot, and tossed a bunch of money at the thing. It was good, very good, but it just didn’t have the feel of something original.
Character development was very good, particularly for as twisted as the plot became. I was impressed they were able to generate connections with the audience for such a large number of characters in such a short period. It helped that the cast were all experienced, big (or bigger) name actors as well. As would be expected, acting was very well done. Even Piven, whom I dislike, did a great job in his role. Garcia was good as always, Berg did a very nice job, and Keys was surprisingly good in her part.
Sets, background, wardrobe, sound, and dialogue were all well done, again indicating a movie with a nice budget. Camera work was a bit disappointing and could have been much better in my opinion. Dialogue, sound, and soundtrack were all good.
Overall, a very solid action/adventure flick even if the ending was a bit disappointing. Solid plot and cast list will keep most folks interested with action fans likely getting the most out of this one.
Excessive violence, plenty of foul language, drug use, and some nudity so save this for the oldest teens and older.
copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel
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