Shoot ‘Em Up (2007) 86min R
September 15th, 2007 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 5,531 Views
Saw it just 30 minutes ago.
The plot: Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) is sitting at the bus stop, minding his business and chewing on his carrot (well, everybody has a habit, and this guy loves carrots, which he grows in his apartment) sees a pregnant woman on the run from a bunch of thugs and helps her with the delivery of the baby, while using her gun to keep the thugs away. “I am a British nanny, and I’m dangerous”, he says. But the thugs weren’t after just the woman – they were after her baby too. Mr. Smith has to protect the baby and figure out who needs to kill little newborn boy and why. He is chased by Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti) and never-ending army of his goons, and gets help with the baby from a lactating prostitute DQ (Monica Belucci). Predictably, Mr. Smith uncovers the evil plot involving a Democratic presidential hopeful with anti-gun control agenda and shoots everybody behind it in the most shamelessly outrageous and funny action flick I’ve seen in years. A Die Hard on steroids! Like John Woo action movies? This is better then pussy “Mission Impossible” or “Face/off’ or most of his Hong Kong action movies. I am going to see it again. Very energizing! Best action of this summer, better then Bourne Ultimatum!
The good: Plot is thin, but the action is fantastic. The title perfectly explains the plot. Mr. Smith is better with the gun then main character of Kill Bill was with sword! What makes this action flick for-guys-only work is outrageous and unbelievable stunts. The ways in which our hero survives and kills are so fantastic it’s funny. It’s hilarious: Mr Smith’s obsession with healthy food and his little carrot plantation (reminded me of Wallace and Gromit), when he pulls carrots out of the ground and eats the without cleaning, and uses carrots as a weapon as well. Oh yeah, he killed more then one person with carrots. Unlike Commando though, he does get eventually wounded and hurt, but for most of the movie he manages to dodge bullets. He doesn’t just pull trigger like Bruce Willis’s hero in Last Man Standing – he is very creative. The jokes, even nasty ones, are perfectly timed (good job, director Michael Davis) and there’s no pause for audience’s applause, except for a few moments when it was good idea to show things more then once – director knew audience would want to see them again to gloat about it. There were a lot of great little details, like the bullet shell-cases bouncing off the belly of that pregnant woman, or when Smith jumps rooftops with newborn in his hands while shooting the gun that make this movie what it is. There’s a shootout during a skydive from a jet, and a shootout during sexual intercourse – the definition of sex and violence! You’ll begin laughing from the first frame of the movie. And then you’ll be repeating, “No way! How is this possible? Could this have been more unrealistic?”. Pure fun. Some nasty fun too. The next “Grindhouse” or “Sin City”. Each consecutive action scene trumps the previous one as Michael Davis seems to let his creativity go wild.
The bad: not suitable for children. Ladies will not enjoy it. This movie is strictly for guys. This is sex and violence. Well, more like light porn and guns. Pretty stylish and witty actually. The movie touches on real issues: growing babies for body parts, political corruption and gun control. But it does not focus on them – they are there for the plot, or else the movie would be completely mindless. The James Bond-like one-liners weren’t out of place, but sooooo cliché.
Paul Giamatti is the only intelligent guy that I loved to hate, who apparently majored in behavioral forensics, and who says things other then expletives. He is so great in the role of a pussy villain with a gun who wants to be a bad ass. I could not thing of a better guy for a role – his performance so fantastic he feels like a graphic novel character. He does most of his acting with his eyes. Well, Schwarzenegger with his Austrian accent could have been another candidate for a role of unrealistic villain, but he’d never looked intelligent enough. Monica Belucci delivered the only somewhat dramatic role in this film and she was dead on. Many people in the theatre thought she was super-hot too: I heard “get me some ice!” from the back row.
Hey, by the way, Clive Owen was on a mission to save a baby before: in “Children of Men”. And I know of another movie when a lone gunman comes to a prostitute for help: the 1999 “Payback” with Mel Gibson.
Audience applauded at the end. I’m going to see it again, if not in theatre then on DVD.
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