Thursday, September 13, 2007


Go see the new balls-out-fucking-crazy action film SHOOT 'EM UP if you want to see any of the following cinematic moments:

Clive Owen delivering a baby while simultaneously shooting about 20 henchmen, then blowing the umbillical cord off with a bullet

People skydiving while shooting at each other with automatic weapons

Clive Owen having sex with Monica Belluci while also shooting about 10 bad guys during the act of coitus

Clive Owen jumping off a high-way over pass and shooting out the sun roof of a BMW underneath him and landing in the drivers seat...all the while holding a baby under his arm

Don't see this film if ANY of what I have just described isn't your cup of tea. If this sort of thing floats your boat, then do check it out. There's much more in store for you.

Over the last few years, there have been a number of super-stylized, hard-R action films to hit cinemas. Most of these movies have become hits on DVD after weak showings at the box office. SHOOT 'EM UP wants to be in the same class as Robert Rodriguez's SIN CITY (the biggest theatrical hit out of this group), Tony Scott's DOMINO, Wayne Kramer's RUNNING SCARED, Neveldine/Taylor's CRANK, and Joe Carnahan's SMOKIN' ACES. All films that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE. And while writer/director Michael Davis does put forth an admirable effort and sustained energy into his entry in this nasty little sub-genre of the traditional action flick, the rampant silliness of the entire endeavor overcomes parts of the movie resulting in a sometimes unbalanced tone. It's a sometimes cheesy, sometimes sharp, R-rated comic book that bears no resemblance to anything approximating real life or believeable situations. This film gives new meaning to the phrase "over-the-top." Clive Owen is Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith has to protect a new-born baby from an army of hitmen who are trying to kill it, for reasons which are made clear towards the end (but in all honesty, it never really mattered). Paul Giamatti is the villian, not simply chewing the scenery, but devouring it. He gets to curse, shoot some pistols, and act like a bad ass. And he's a lot of fun to watch. The insanely hot Italian actress Monica Belluci is the hooker with a heart of gold who helps Mr. Smith along the way.

Listen...if you like your action flicks short and sweet (this one is 83 minutes) and can tolerate some graphic violence with your popcorn and soda, check SHOOT 'EM UP out. It's nifty at times, has a great title sequence, will make you laugh (and roll your eyes occasionally), and Clive Owen is beyond icy-cool. I just love watching the guy on the big screen. His laconic line delivery and the way he looks when engaged in a shoot out are extrememly, well, cool...and that's what SHOOT 'EM UP aspires to be. Cool. It's just about the least pretentious movie I've seen in the last few years. And while it isn't as serious as some of the other films listed above, it's a hoot and a holler. Extreme to be sure. But fun all the same.

*** stars

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