Friday, September 7, 2007

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Nice shootin', Tex!

Shoot 'Em Up

Release: 09/07/2007
Rated R
1 hour, 27 minutes

Matinee <> Full Price

Paul Giamatti (*Paycheck) portrays Hertz, a hitman who has been hired to kill a young pregnant woman. As the woman waddles down the street to escape her assailants, she catches the attention of a man named Smith, played by Clive Owen (*Sin City). The mysterious Smith, moved to action, follows them to a deserted fix-it shop where he subdues the killer, and after an unfortunate series of events, finds himself, newborn in tow, in the middle of the biggest onslaught of mercenaries and killers imaginable.

As the credits rolled in the theater, I couldn’t help but think this was the most ridiculously over-the-top, completely absurd thing I had ever seen…and I loved every minute of it. Granted, the dialogue, had it not been swathed in wickedly complex stunts and shoot-outs, would have made me shudder from pure dumbness and cliché. There is little to no Bourne-esque feats of martial arts; writer-director Michael Davis must have said, if it can’t be done with a gun, then why bother? The elaborate gunfights are completely incredible and highly unbelievable but that’s just part of the fun. What sells this brutal, cartoonish film is the seriousness the actors bring to their roles. Giamatti is shrewd and evil, a degenerate in fine suits who takes a twisted sense of pleasure in Smith’s continued retaliation. Owen has an inner fury and ultra-macho swagger that makes you think he should be oozing semen from his ears. Yes, he is that cocky.

Dirty Undies
If you weren’t sure, “Shoot ‘Em Up” has a lot of guns. I don’t think any other film this summer can boast a body count this high. Hundreds of bullets and gallons of blood cover the backgrounds. A couple of non-projectile assaults prove to be equal to the hail of gunfire due to their brutal and excruciating imagery. Luckily, it’s not all a bloodbath. “Shoot ‘Em Up” tosses in a few flashes of depraved sexual conduct and nudity to soften the mood. Also, Smith enlists a fetish hooker named Donna, played by the too-damn-hot Monica Belluci (*Brotherhood of the Wolf), who adds serious eye candy. While Belluci definitely teases audiences with her fantastic body, my lack of soiled underpants reminded me how someone kept us from enjoying her in all her glory.

The Money Shot
After watching the opening scene of “Shoot ‘Em Up” I knew it was time to shut off my sense of logic and just roll with it. The film is reminiscent of the unstoppable determination and bloodshed of Mel Gibson’s “Payback” mixed with a healthy dose of larger-than-life machismo violence from Jason Statham’s “Crank.” If you enjoyed those two films and can accept “Shoot ‘Em Up” for what it is, it is time for you to shoot your load on this hitman flick.

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1 comment:

  1. I saw this with our esteemed reviewer and I agree with it all. Its not what I was expecting at all. If you enjoyed Crank you'll like this one too.