Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ask Questions...Never: Shoot 'Em Up

Now here's a movie that gets it right.

No pretense for quality dialogue, no characterization to get in the way of mindless violence, and no story to bog down the action.


"Shoot 'em Up" serves a heaping helping of lead with a side order of snappy dialogue and more one-liners than a Larry the-cable-guy stand-up special. 

Clive Owen ("King Arthur", "Sin City") stars as Mr. Smith, a nameless British action hero with no past or present. He likes carrots and justice, and can improvise in a pinch to get the baddies.

He can also defy gravity. 

Enter Paul Giamatti ("Sideways") who plays Hertz, a well versed and family-oriented hitman with one thing on his mind: kill a newly born baby.

Finally, just for good measure, add Monica Bellucci ("Matrix") as a prostitute who specializes in infant-fantasies. 

And what's it all about? Lord, I wish I could explain. The "plot" is so odd and bad-political-thriller-esque that I can't even begin.

The baby in question relates to some governor who is running for president, and then there's the gun control people making super weapons for the faceless goons to use in vain against the hero. 

It all winds down to a series of rooms  that beg to be splattered with blood. 

And the film does not disappoint. 

John Woo, the high emperor of gun play, made a name for himself with his unique ballet of gunfights. 

Director Michael Davis makes a name for himself with guns that never empty, gravity that is optional, and carrots as weapons. 

In one scene, which sticks with me, Clive speeds down a highway, leans out of his, grabs a gun off the ground, drives straight at an enemy van full of baddies, shoots out his window, shoots out THEIR window, CRASHES into the van, FLIES through the window and lands SOFTLY in the back, and shoots all five goons before they can draw.


I'm out of breath. 

This is not a movie for substance. This is not a movie for girls who like ponies.

This is a movie for beer, meat and candy bars. 

This is a movie for people who don't care for plots, but want hot women and gore. 

I give this movie an eight, based solely on its action.

Watch carefully.

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