Review: Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)


Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

Directed by: Michael Davis | 86 minutes | action, thriller, crime | Actors: Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti, Stephen McHattie, Greg Bryk, Daniel Pilon, Sidney Mende-Gibson, Lucas Mende-Gibson, Kaylyn Yellowlees, Ramona Pringle, Julian Richings, Tony Munch, Scott McCord, Wiley M. Pickett, Stephen R. Hart, David Ury, Mike Rad, Andy Mackenzie, Laura DeCarteret, Ryan Finn, Layton Morrison, Joanne Leach, Harry Karp, Michael Edward Rose, Talia Russo, Maria Vacratsis, Suresh John, Dave Van Zeyl

‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ wastes no time. The moment Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) smashing a carrot through the skull of an unnamed villain sets the tone. B-movie director Michael Davis clearly had a crush on the sensitive viewer when he gave birth to the script. Release the brakes, everything is possible and everything is allowed. Davis creates pure pulp and a completely ridiculous film with ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’.

The carrot-eating hero – the toothpick is out, the carrot is in – Mr. Smith, one night saves a pregnant woman who is attacked by some thug. Smith, the world’s first sniper who is also a great midwife, takes care of the new baby when the mother dies in all the tumult. The baby must apparently be dead, because the sinister hit man Hertz (Paul Giamatti) continues to haunt Smith doggedly. What follows is a cat and mouse game between Hertz and Smith. Monica Belluci, this time a whore named Donna, hops around a bit and keeps her skirts nice and short. Tasteless is the first thing that comes to mind after an hour of ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’. It’s wrong and bad, dirty and gross. What is it about? Not to Giamatti. He clearly takes pleasure in playing a maniac. What is less good is Owen. Even with his in-granite face, this actor can’t get away with the intensely bland one-liners. ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ mainly suffers from too much of everything. Too many corpses, poo, piss, sperm, blood, shot mothers, necrophilic tendencies, mediocre jokes and a lot of nonsense. The recent and equally ridiculous ‘Crank’ is a realistic drama compared to ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’. At rare moments the film tries to break through some clichés by giving the camera a big wink. And there are a few scenes that are so grotesque that they also manage to elicit a laugh. While Owen and Belluci are engaged in the inevitable act of love, some thugs storm in again. Smith not only knows how to stylishly kill all assailants, but also how to bring his lady to a climax while killing.

Unfortunately, ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ mainly lapses into outrageous nonsense that puts the viewer’s empathy to the test. No one would argue that movies need a strong plot to be entertaining, but if it’s poorly executed, there’s nothing left to salvage. Instead of the sickening images and lame jokes, the hour and a half would be better spent visiting your grandmother. That will cost you nothing.

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