Saturday, April 04, 2009

Shoot 'Em Up

Those of you who really wanted to see this movie have probably already watched it. Those of you who haven’t and are undecided . . . well, I have a hunch you’ll either love it or hate it. I don’t think there’ll be much middle ground on this film.

It opens with a nameless stranger (Clive Owen) sitting at a bus stop munching on raw carrots. A frantic pregnant woman about to give birth runs past him with a bad guy in pursuit. Owen, against his better judgment, gets involved, winds up in a shootout with a number of would-be killers who are out to murder the woman and her baby, and rapidly proves himself to be deadlier than any of them. The woman gives birth, promptly gets killed, and Owen is stuck protecting the newborn baby from a horde of assassins led by Paul Giamatti. This leads to an almost non-stop series of very bloody, over-the-top, wildly improbable gunfights and chases. Owen’s character turns out to be just about the best shot in the world, and he can wield a carrot with lethal results, too. I’m not kidding. The Bugs Bunny references are appropriate, because SHOOT ‘EM UP is a live-action cartoon most of the time, albeit a very violent one.

Owen’s character is a cipher for most of the movie, although we eventually do find out his back-story. There’s quite a bit of plot packed in around the gunfire and explosions, so you have to keep up. I don’t know if it all makes sense in the end or not. Things move too fast to worry much about that. Watch this for the sheer audacity of the action sequences and Giamatti’s scenery-chewing performance as the lead villain, as well as Owen’s unflappable cool as he deals out death to, oh, at least two hundred of the bad guys.

Like I said above, you’ll probably either love or hate SHOOT ‘EM UP. I thought it was incredibly entertaining. But I’ll certainly understand if you watch it and say, “Well, this is just stupid.” It probably is. But sometimes I don’t mind that.


RJR said...

We enjoyed it at our house.Marthayn doesn't usually like shoot 'em up movies, but she really liked this one. Of course, it helps that she likes Clive Owen. Me, I'm a Monica Bellucci man.

This is like Kill Bill for women.


Unknown said...

Loved it. Giamatti plays pretty much the same character in DUPLICITY. Except without a gun.

Vince said...

Put down another vote for loved it.

AndyDecker said...

I also loved it. Okay, it didn´t made a lot of sense, but strangely I didn`t mind.
It had some truly bizarre action scenes which were very memorable *g And I would love to see the carot scenes tested in an episode of Mythbusters *gg

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

I've looked at this a few times and never bought it, even if it is on bargain price at the moment. I wasn't sure if I'd like it but I think I'll give it a try.

Bruce said...

I think what you really need to point out is that this movie is that its a live action Warner Brothers cartoon. With Clive Owen coming off as the bugs bunny archetype to the point of him eating carrots through out the film.

Todd Mason said...

Yup...Bruce is right. And Giamatti's character is like a more effective combination of Fudd and Yosemite Sam.

I liked it, didn't love it, even with Bellucci, but liked it a lot.

Rabid Fox said...

I loved "Shoot 'Em Up." I wasn't looking for "Syriana" with this pic; I just wanted some quality action and humor. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who really liked it.