Shoot ’em Up

Review Date:
Director: Michael Davis
Writer: Michael Davis
Producers: Rick Benattar, Susan Monford, Don Murphy
Clive Owen as Mr. Smith
Paul Giamatti as Hertz
Monica Bellucci as Donna
A seemingly homeless man falls upon a woman delivering a child in a warehouse while being chased by some assholes one night (just go with it), and kills more of them within the first few minutes of this movie than many action films extinguish during their entire runtimes…and that’s only the beginning, folks! With the orphaned child and a lactating prostitute in tow, the homeless man (known only as Mr. Smith) takes part in deliriously exaggerated shoot-out sequences that will blow the ring right off the tip of your cock. Oh yeah, they do that as well. Fun times.
An over-the-top action flick featuring as many kills as you’ll ever want to see in a 90-minute feature, as well as a number of extremely creative and memorable action sequences which vary from the lead character delivering a baby while continuing to shoot the bad guys to him nailing the lovely Monica Bellucci…while continuing to shoot the bad guys!! And the film doesn’t just inject a handful of fun dialogue into its action either, it knows that it’s as over-the-top as they come by offering playful winks at Bugs Bunny – the un-murderable rodent best known as the thorn in Elmer Fudd’s side for over five decades now – and even having the lead baddie – played delectably “ham-and-cheese” by the always-fun-to-watch Paul Giamatti – acknowledge that the bad guys must “suck” at shooting because they cannot seem to hit the good guy, no matter how many bullets they zip his way (thousands, btw). Basically, the movie delivers exactly what you’d expect from one titled SHOOT ‘EM UP and that is bodies upon bodies upon bodies being shot at (and killed) by one very blasé lead good guy (Clive Owen doing his thang), while a G-string thin plotline meanders on in the background. That was one of the few elements that I actually didn’t care for in the film, and that was its weird-ass “surrogate babies” storyline, most of which I didn’t even really understand, since movies like this generally don’t get into complex plots as such, and basically just present us with a “good guys vs bad guys” scenario…and a ton of guns. See CRANK, for instance.

That said, kudos to writer/director Michael Davis for trying to weave a somewhat more interesting storyline into the genre, but more importantly, for directing the shit out of this movie, with a ton of unique and original shots and scenes, many of which you can just rewind and watch on their own, over and over again, without even having to re-watch the entire film. In fact, there are at least 5-6 awesome action sequences, complete with fun kills, toe-tapping rock music and a bloody rapid pace lining this movie, any of which are worth the price of admission/rental on their own. Which leads me to the film’s other small negative point: its two leads. I dig Owen as an actor, particularly in serious pieces, but I feel as though his character here was a little too dour for everything that was going on around him. I understand the dude is “the angriest man in the world” (and some of those touches were a blast as well – loved those “carrot kills” and his road rage), but with the theme of the film being so over-the-top, I’m quite sure that I would have preferred someone a little…well, goofier. Like a Bruce Campbell type. Monica Bellucci was also gorgeous to behold as the “lactating whore” (that’s fun to say), and any time she showcases her goodies in a movie, God knows I’m first in line with sweaty dollars in one hand and a box o’ Kleenex in the other, but her delivery/or accent took me out of a couple of “serious” scenes between she and Owen, to the point that I didn’t really give too much of a shit about her or him…although I did care for the cute baby.

On another positive note, if you didn’t catch it the first time around, be sure to stay tuned to the end of this movie for its super-energetic closing credit sequence, which actually looks a lot more like an opening credit sequence. Either way, it’s a ton of fun and so is the film’s final scene in which Owen’s character no longer has the use of his hands, but still finds a way to kill all of the bad guys surrounding him. That’s not really a “spoiler”, folks…that’s the whole movie!! If you enjoy extreme action flicks, particularly those that took place during the ‘80s in which the good guy seemed to kill every single guy with every single one of his bullets, while the baddies couldn’t hit the side of a fuckin’ building with theirs – such was their ineptitude – this movie should be right up your alley, especially if you dig on cool “bad lines” (“Talk about shooting your load“) and bloody-ass murders. If, on the other hand, you’re one to watch a film while griping about how “That couldn’t really happen in real life!”, save yourself and the rest of us the hassle of telling you to shut your pie-hole when you complain about this film’s “preposterous” nature, and scratch it off your “Films to see” list. “My God. Do we really suck or is this guy really that good?” Both, asshole…both!

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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