Shoot'em Up
"Shoot ‘Em Up" is right on target
Grab a gun and follow me...


Within the first five minutes of this deliriously over-the-top action flick an innocent bystander known only as Smith (that hardened rogue Clive Owen) kills a man with a carrot (yes, the vegetable) and aids a complete stranger in childbirth, all while firing a pistol and spouting off one-liners to would-be captors.

This is "Shoot ‘Em Up," an unapologetically senseless action thrill ride by director Michael Davis (2003's "Monster Man"). The plot is fairly simple and the pacing of the film wastes no time getting to it.

The mysterious Mr. Smith (and that's probably not his real name) is called upon to protect the newborn from an army of gunmen led by an assassin named Hertz (Paul Giamatti).

After narrowly escaping a hail of gunfire, Smith is on the run with a complete stranger's targeted-for-death baby and nowhere to hide.

He enlists a fetish-loving, lactating hooker (the beautiful Monica Bellucci) to wet-nurse the infant. Despite some dirty talk, she turns out to be more nurturing and maternal than badass bitch, which makes for a nice change in the cyclical world of action movie plots.

A brief word about the acting - though the dialogue is corny and full of one-liners, Clive Owen's Mr. Smith is the typical rough customer we've come to expect from Britain's latest and greatest cinematic scoundrel.

Giamatti triumphs as the bad guy with brains, who is shocked and hysterically enraged about how Smith and company manage to slip by him. "Do we suck this bad," he says at one point, "or is this guy really that good?"

Well, he is that good. And through one outlandish action scene (involving a skydiving shootout with secret servicemen) to the next (rigging a pulley-system to fire automatic weapons in a ammunitions warehouse), Smith outwits his would-be killer.

This film is embellished, blown up and bigger than life. It borders on parody on more than one occasion and never feels shame for it. "Shoot ‘Em Up" is a bizarre melding of Frank Miller ("Sin City") and John Woo ("Face Off") and has more dual pistol wielding than you can shake a stick at.

If you're ready to sit back and enjoy an over-the-top popcorn flick, then go check out "Shoot ‘Em Up." Sure it's unbelievable and overall senseless and without meaning but hey, it's a fond farewell to a summer that was nothing but senseless and effects-laden films anyway - so why not say goodbye in style?

The best part, you might ask? While "Shoot ‘Em Up" borders on parody - it's almost as unbelievable as June's "Live Free or Die Hard," and has better heroes and villains (and acting) to boot.

Reviewed by: adam
3 Comment(s)
Chris said...
Awesome movie that definitely hits action on the mark. The ending almost sets it to blow up into another movie but the directory nicely ends it there. The special features are great. Micheal Davis storyboarded the movie and animated many of the action sequences by hand.

I give it 5 stars for being exactly what every action movie should be.
Josh said...
I loved every minute of this one. It was pure and utter enjoyment from beginning to end. It's rare to see a movie have this much fun with itself, let alone being this fun to watch. Basically turn your brain off and enjoy the ride.
Adam said...
I decided to come back to this review with "Wanted" coming out soon - speaking of absurdly over-the-top action. I'd be interested in watching this again, just to see if I scored it right - part of me wants to knock up a .5 or something.