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Shoot 'Em Up

A movie directed by Michael Davis

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If you've got it, Flaunt it!

  • Jan 4, 2008
Rating:
+3
SHOOT 'EM UP is well named: this is a whompingly good action movie that is as much parody of its genre as it is a good story. It never for a moment takes itself seriously and it is played by a strong cast of top-drawer actors having a terrific time. Writer/director Michael Davis has found his niche and let's hope there will be more dark comedies that are as much fun to watch as this one.

The story is negligible: lone man Smith (Clive Owen at his best) observes a pregnant woman in chased distress, delivers her baby, then finishes off the huge gang of bad guys who are in pursuit, taking the newborn boy to transient safety. Smith finds a lactating prostitute Donna (beautiful Monica Bellucci), takes her from her business of kinky sex and makes her the baby's surrogate mother. A smarmy gangster Hertz (Paul Giamatti in another career forming role), connected to an illicit arms manufacturer Hammerson (Stephen McHattie), is in pursuit of both Smith and the baby for reasons that are finally disclosed: the baby is part of a ring of potential bone marrow donors for an important Senator. The ending is, well, an ending. But it is the getting there that is all the fun.

The dialog is peppered with hilarious one-liners that have a real edge and the methods of the endless killings include several using the carrot that Smith keeps at hand as a weapon. The shootings are fast and impossible but actually hilarious in the choreography. Clive Owen plays the role straight, with a real gift for humor as well as action. Paul Giamatti is a sinister delight and able to match Owens one-liner for one-liner. Monica Bellucci makes her impossible role credible and as always is gorgeous to look at! This is a fast paced, finely written and acted parody - definitely deserving of the comic book title! Grady Harp, January 08

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More Shoot 'Em Up reviews
review by . August 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     I'm no grouch when it comes to entertainment at the sacrifice of real characters of a compelling story; and this is precisely why I'm able to accept films as ridiculous, absurd, loud, and violent as "Shoot 'Em Up"; which is like a hyper violent lost episode of Bugs Bunny on crack. It's fast-paced and should be the perfect antidote for genre fans, because most action movies are either too restrained or not preposterous enough; they just don't cross the lines …
review by . July 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Bullet Ballet and Pistol Opera With A Lot of Guns, Bullets and Carrots!!
I rented this film with low expectations. A friend of mine said that it was stupid so I saw this with an open mind and extra low expectations. "Shoot `Em Up" is a movie with a title that speaks for itself. True, the film is so ridiculously unreal but boy, it sure is a lot of fun to watch! Action and gunplay is all you're in for with this film as it makes fun of the ridiculousness of action films. Remember the old gripe: “Either this guy is so good or we just suck so bad….” …
review by . November 15, 2008
Whoah! If you're looking for mindless action, THIS is the movie for you.   It's over the top, totally unbelievable, physically impossible, but absolutely brilliant all at the same time.     2 minute version:     Clive Owen eats a lot of carrots, and values his privacy. There are many things that he absolutely hates, and he comes into contact with most of these things when he unwillingly gets involved in a plot to kill a very pregnant young woman. …
review by . January 03, 2008
To be honest, for the first 10 minutes of this film, you will probably be laughing at the ridiculousness. You are catapulted straight into the action without any introduction of characters, plot or surroundings. This film is violent, sure, but as I always say, it's how a movie is done that makes the difference. Shoot 'Em Up proceeds from one dazzlingly outrageous scene to another with unflagging confidence, tons of panache, brilliantly warped humor and blazing originality, sweeping you and many …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Every action movie has a moment so over the top you have to laugh;Shoot 'Em Upconsists of nothing but these moments. A carrot-eating, lone wolf kind of guy named Smith (Clive Owen,Children of Men,Inside Man) steps in to protect a pregnant woman from a gunman--and finds himself, with the aid of a lactating prostitute (Monica Belluci,The Matrix Revisited), defending the newborn child from a sleazy contract killer Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti,American Splendor,Sideways) and his army of thugs. That's pretty much the plot, but story is beside the point. Writer/director Michael Davis (Monster Man) has a keen sense of what matters in an action movie. The rapid-fire editing is scrupulously coherent; you always grasp what happened in every shoot-out, even if it flagrantly violates the laws of physics or basic plausibility. Explaining how Smith survives a four-story fall--even if that explanation is beyond ridiculous--demonstrates both a sense of wit and a winking respect for the audience's imagination. As a result,Shoot 'Em Upis ten times more entertaining than the likes ofTransformersorRush Hour 3, movies so self-satisfied with special effects or movie stars that they forgot to be fun. (Shoot 'Em Up's only weakness is a sliver of misogyny, the one action movie cliche that it's not clever enough to transcend.)--Bret Fetzer
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