Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

Director: Michael Davis
Plot: A man named Mr. Smith delivers a woman's baby during a shootout, and is then called upon to protect the newborn from the army of gunmen.

Genre: Action/Thriller
Awards: -
Runtime: 86min
Rating: M18 for pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality and some language.

What's with Clive Owen and his affinity for babies? A year after Alfonso Cuaron's visionary masterpiece, Children Of Men, comes another flick with a similar central theme - Owen and his baby-saving acts. However, Shoot 'Em Up is a stark contrast to Children Of Men (which is unquestionably the far better film). While the latter offers intelligent thrills coupled with impressive cinematography, the former torments viewers with brainless (and ultimately fruitless) entertainment.

Shoot 'Em Up follows the tradition of Bad Boys, promising relentless action sequences one after another. There are shoot-ups aplenty, chalking up the body count which could have been close to a hundred. In a way, Shoot 'Em Up delivers as a mindless popcorn movie. But it suffers from an overdose of adrenaline two-thirds into the film, giving viewers absolutely no chance to catch a necessary breather. The end result is an overblown concussion that seriously needs relieving. It's loud, brash, rude, and real bad.

Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, and Paul Giamatti may seem like the perfect casting balancing act. Unfortunately, their performances are so appalling (perhaps on purpose) that it's fun watching the trio embarrass themselves on screen. While I understand Michael Davis' intention in making the most bad-ass action thriller ever, he successfully fails to capitalize on the movie's premise. Ninety minutes of criss-cross bloody shooting and cheapskate CGI shots certainly do not make a movie worth viewing. Unrealistic, unglamorous, and outright ludicrous, Shoot 'Em Up brings back fond (though recent) memories of Die Hard 4.0 (another badly made film). But in comparison, Die Hard 4.0 makes Shoot 'Em Up looks like a kid's project. Film buffs ought to stay away from this.


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