Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

Shoot ‘Em Up (2007) — The late film critic Pauline Kael once saw a European poster for a James Bond movie that had the words “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” on it. She said that those four words (or more accurately two words each repeated) summarized everything we love about the movies. Michael Davis’s Shoot ‘Em Up is that but with much less of that pussy “kiss kiss” crap.  I didn’t actually time it but I suspect that not five minutes go by in the entire movie without a gun discharging (or someone getting stabbed with a carrot… not kidding). Watching the film recently I became convinced that the film was just several action sequences and then the writer attempted to find some sort of loose plot to get from one or the other. Watching the special features I learned I was correct. That sounds like it should be a bad thing but it’s not. This is one of those flicks that is reviled by many, but just loved by yours truly. This film is so relentlessly and unrepentantly over-the-top that it acheives a cartoony level of pure awesomeness. Gun battles that defy logic occur to the blaring rock soundtrack of Nirvana, Wolfmother, Motörhead, AC/DC, Iggy Pop and Green Day and enough sick humor is injected into the brutal violence that it comes out being fun as all hell. The film does try to for a somewhat hypocritical anti-gun message amidst the orgy of firearm violence, but this is not a message movie and  and this ill-advised attempt at social commentary does not detract much from the movie in my eyes (especially since in it all problems are solved with gun violence).  The actors (Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Belluci, and Stephen McHattie) are all taking this serious too which make the film’s exagerated tone hit even harder. As gun-toting hero Mr. Smith, Clive Owen gets into gun battles while delivering babies, skydiving, and fucking Monic Belluci.  Paul Giamatti leads an unyielding swarm of bad guys.  They are evil.  We know this because Giamatti feels up a corpse.  Oh also THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL A FUCKING BABY! This is a movie that doesn’t do “subtle.” It just points a gun in your face and tells you to hang on for the ride.

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