Thursday, August 20, 2009
Review: Shoot 'Em Up
Synopsis: A man named Mr. Smith delivers a woman's baby during a shootout, and is then called upon to protect the newborn from the army of gunmen.
Review: To say that this film is over the top at being over the top, would be as intellectually insightful as saying water is wet. There's not a single thing in this movie that can be taken seriously, despite the fact it's loaded with violence and adult themes, and therein lies the true charm of the spectacle. Clive Owens plays the mystery man known only as "Smith." After he helps a women birth her child during a gunfight, he finds himself caught up in a web of outrageous political intrigue, with the baby's life, as well as his own, as the stakes. This is basically a parody send up of every gun-blazing, ass-kicking, tough guy action film you've ever even heard about. Owens character never misses a shot (or the chance to chomp on some carrots), in shootouts that are not just overly exaggerated, but completely impossible, in many cases. You have Paul Giamatti as the sleazy hitman out to get him and the baby, with Monica Bellucci simply providing eye-candy, as the milk-giving whore helping Smith to save the child. There isn't a single moment that you can really take any of this seriously, but the filmmakers know this and don't just fail to apologize for it, but actually revel in it. The choreography in the gunfights is superb. If you could actually pull off some of the stunts shown here, I fully believe the real would be as mindlessly violent as this film is. My favorite has to be the skydiving shootout, where physics and several universal laws of kinetic energy and gravity simply don't exist. This is to say nothing of the many machismo one-liners that are constantly thrown around throughout the film, which provide the perfect black humor to the massive amounts of killing going on. Of course, one can't forget the rocking soundtrack, complete with trashy metal sounds, from groups like Motley Crue and Motorhead, that only intensifies the sensation. Is "Shoot 'Em Up" sexist? Yep. Is it somewhat homophobic? You betcha. Is it overly violent? Oh, hell yes! The film is all of that, as well as not having a single redeeming value within the whole product. Yet, despite all of this, it is still a rip-roaring, testosterone-fueled, slam-banging, out-of-control good time, that will charm it's way into your heart and have you quoting lines from it for days afterwards! If you are someone who's easily offended, or has delicate sensibilities, then this movie is one you probably should avoid. For everyone else, just sit back and watch the mindless carnage unfold. This is truly a guy's movie, for guys who like movies. And it is probably the guiltiest pleasure experience I've had in some time.
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 4)