Alas, the film totally fell flat for me, and when I heard they were doing a direct-to-DVD sequel, I did not have particularly high hopes. Not helping matters was the fact that P.J Pesce was at the helm. He seems to be the go-to guy for DTV sequels, having previously shot FROM DUSK TILLí DAWN: TEXAS BLOOD MONEY, and LOST BOYS 2: THE TRIBE.
SMOKINí ACES 2 manages to be even worse than the original, as that at least had some clever dialogue, a solid musical score, and a kickass final shoot-out. The sporadic shoot-outs in this are tepid, and nothing you havenít seen a thousand times before, and the screenplay is totally by-the-numbers, although I liked the idea of the target being a seemingly harmless old man.
Probably the only thing noteworthy about ASSASSINSí BALL, are a couple of the more interesting cast choices. Berengerís solid as the analyst/ target, and Michael Parks (from KILL BILL) makes an awesome patriarch for the Tremor Clan (this is a prequel). I also thought Vinnie Jones fuckiní kicked ass in this, but sadly his screen-time is limited (he should have been the lead). I also liked the sexy female assassin, played by Latina hottie Martha Higareda- who luckily spends most of her time walking around in sexy black lingerie. It was also nice seeing the always cool Ernie Hudson pop up for a cameo, but his appearance towards the end is ruined by a ridiculous final twist thatís incredibly derivative of THE USUAL SUSPECTS.
Next up, we get a slew of featurettes, the centerpiece being the Confessions of an Assassin EPK. Next up, Behind the Scenes With Joe Carnahan , where he looks back at the original, and explains why he made the sequel (turns out, the original, while modestly successful in theaters, made a mint on DVD). Ready, Aim... Fire! is a look at the weaponry used in the film, and finally we get The Bunker Mentality - which explains how the climactic shootout was done.