Shoot ‘em Up is a maniacal, over-the-top action comedy. In fact it’s so over the top that the top is no longer in view.
At the start of the film we are introduced to Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) looking one step above a tramp, sitting on a street bench eating a carrot (the film is made by Warner Bros.!).
Moments later we see a heavily pregnant woman staggering by, only moments away from giving birth. At this, Smith isn’t even remotely interested. Then we hear a car screech and crash and a thug proclaim he’s going to kill the woman. This gets Smith’s attention. From this point on (and we are only about 3 minutes into the film) the body-count starts.
Last year Clive Owen starred in a film which which involved gunfights and chases, delivering a baby, and protecting the child from evil. This year Clive Owen stars in a film that involves gunfights and chases, delivering a baby, and protecting the child from evil.
Owen is a natural for this type (as well as the other) type of role. He’s got the same mojo Bruce Willis has in the “Die Hard” films and Kurt Russell does in his John Carpenter films or Sam Jackson in pretty much any film he’s ever been in. If you ever wanted to know how Clive Owen would do in a James Bond film, then watching parts of this film will give you your answer. At times I thought it was the best Bond film never made. At other times I thought it would be a film that Tarantino would be proud to have directed.
Shoot ’em Up is a ridiculously violent film that both emulates and satirises the hyper-violent action film genre. It has a body (and bullet) count to rival the war in Afghanistan, which is ironic given that the messaage of the film is anti-guns, yet the means of the film is very much pro-guns. It’s a nice dichotomy that works well.
Over-the-top, cartoonish and ridiculously violent, this film rivals Crank for sheer stupidity – at one point Smith has a shoot-out while shagging Bellucci’s maternal prostitute.
I’d urge you to go see this now … this is probably the most enjoyable film I’ve seen all year.
Take my advice, give your brain a break, sit back and simply enjoy the silliness of this hardcore action extravaganza.