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Shoot 'Em Up

A movie directed by Michael Davis

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No real plot, but boy does it make up for it with action!

  • Jan 3, 2008
  • by
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 viewers along.

The casting is genius as well, beginning with Clive Owen, who's dead-on here, with his ever-present carrot in hand, rescuing the (adorable) baby, getting the girl, killing the bad guys (who just keep coming like deranged vampire replicants), even solving The Mystery from the most obscure of clues, all while complaining about everything he hates.

And speaking of the great Paul Giamatti, he's in monumentally fine form here as Hertz, the self-described brilliant leader of the gunmen. Squallid and seedy beyond all comprehension, you just know he's having a blast (pun intended) with this part. After proving in his last few outings that he can carry a film and play anything, he gets to bask hardily in full venal mode, sneering, scowling and torturing his way into our hearts as only Giamatti can.

The film is shot in stark, sharp tones, making it look like a comic book come to life more than any film I've ever seen, while still using real actors. And there are sequences here that you have NOT witnessed before, speaking of that originality I mentioned earlier. The one which stood out most to me is the one where Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci (also perfect) are making love and the baddies bust in. In most films, this would pre-empt the love-making. In Shoot 'Em Up, they continue the act, which actually culminates while the bullets are flying. Worked for me.

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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 04, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
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Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … 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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