Love it. Hate it. You won’t fall asleep.
I mean, really! How sensible do you think a movie called SHOOT ‘EM UP could possibly be?
Just sit back and enjoy Clive Owen in his natural habitat (factory streets grimier than Guy Ritchie could possibly imagine), in his usual plumage (Hard Guy Long Overcoat, perpetual five o’clock shadow), plying his chosen vocation (guns, white-hot barrels never unchoked from constant stream of rounds).
Owen’s intense streetwise visage, in pus green light, opens SHOOT ‘EM UP; his first words, “Bloody hell!”; his first act, delivering a baby whilst emptying his load (for Clive Owen, that means shooting people).
And the hook of this ultra-violent guilty pleasure movie materializes: Owen does most of his killing with that baby in his arms. So it’s not mindless. So it’s not gratuitous.
Writer-director Michael Davis has been watching one too many John Woo movies, especially HARD BOILED (1992), as improbable scenario after improbable scenario comes barreling at Owen; an unending stream of bad guys pursuing the baby for political purposes; we marvel at all the intricate creative ways that Owen Shoots ‘Em Up – blink your eyes and another creative death slips by. With nary a scratch on Owen or his Hard Guy Long Overcoat.
Paul Giamatti is head bad guy – as hard as he’ll ever be. The Hard Guy Long Overcoat helps. Feeling up the naked titty of the baby’s dead mother is a big plus.
Remote control guns on strings, a lactating big-breasted prostitute as surrogate mother (Monica Bellucci), raunchy sex with guns blazing; sliding, spinning, twirling, never-ending dance of destruction; snatching up the baby from the street in a speeding, stolen car; broken hands and using carrots as brain-spikes and trigger-fingers; Motorhead’s Ace of Spades, AC/DC’s A Touch Too Much, Crue’s Kickstart My Heart while parachuting and shooting at each other in freefall.
What the HELL is happening in this movie?