Shoot 'Em Up

"Excellent"

Shoot 'Em Up Review


Presenting the recipe for a Shoot 'Em Up cocktail: Mix together a shot each of John Woo, Chuck Jones, and Run Lola Run, a dash of Sergio Leone and the Coen Brothers, add a twist of John Cassavetes' Gloria, shake vigorously and pour.

Michael Davis' Shoot 'Em Up is a giddy, deranged, pumped-up theme park ride in Bullet Land where the bullets fly like rain, bodies drop like hail, and carrots are used as lethal weapons.

Shoot 'Em Up grabs you by the throat, commands you to have fun and wills you not take anything that follows seriously enough to worry about. If you don't get the idea from the first frame of the opening credits, when the New Line Cinema logo is shot to hell, Davis makes sure to drive the point home in the opening shot as Clive Owen glares into the camera in close-up and takes a bite out of a carrot as if he is chomping off a chaw of tobacco, like an end-of-the-world Bugs Bunny.

Owen is Mr. Smith, "the angriest man in the world." And he just gets angrier as he munches on his carrot, waiting for a bus, but is forced to reluctantly come to the aid of a pregnant woman about to give birth while being pursued by gunmen. Within minutes, Smith is delivering the woman's child while simultaneously gunning down hordes of killers. After the new mother is killed in the bloodbath, Smith's humanity kicks in and, shooting off the umbilical cord with his pistol, he tucks the newborn infant under his arm like a football and races through another pack of assassins in pursuit of a wet nurse. The wet nurse is found in the voluptuous form of DQ (Monica Bellucci), a prostitute acquaintance. Soon enough the rapidly formed nuclear family proceeds to make tracks as the bad guy throng, headed by cold-blooded killer and henpecked husband, Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti), the kind of bad guy who admonishes victims by saying things like, "And let that be a reminder never to fool me again," yet accepting cell phone calls from his wife in the midst of a murder spree, telling her, "I'll have to call you back, honey. I'm busy."

Davis wastes no time driving the film forward to his set pieces, scenes that stand out like musical numbers in an MGM spectacular. The sequences top one another in sheer enervating nuttiness. After the opening bullet-ridden birth production number, Davis ups the screwball ante with a scene of the infant on a playground carousel, Smith shooting at the carousel to keep it spinning, so Hertz cannot grab the baby. Then, Davis has Smith and DQ in the clinch, making love as killers enter the bedroom, and the two lovers are forced to literally rock 'n' roll out of the way of the blazing bullets while Smith, one arm around DQ and the other wielding a gun, mows down the shooters. The insanity culminates with a mid-air scene of parachutists in free-fall shooting each other on the way down.

Davis is assisted in his mayhem with keen, acid-shark cinematography by Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Peter Amundson's flash-dazzle editing, and a throbbing, heart-thumping headbanger's music parade by Paul Haslinger and a heavy metal greatest hits collection of Wolfmother, Motorhead, Iggy Pop, and a battery of other headache inducers.

Shoot 'Em Up is not all junk food; in its own subterranean way, Shoot 'Em Up explores love, sex, and death in a venal world, but you'll forget all about it during the adrenaline rush. In Shoot 'Em Up, Davis delivers the tonic, and it's up to you to drink it down.

Is that a gun or are you just happy to see her?



Shoot 'Em Up

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th September 2007

Box Office USA: $12.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $26.8M

Budget: $39M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Angry Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 108 Rotten: 54

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Susan Montford, , Rick Benattar

Starring: as Smith, as Donna Quintano, as Hertz, as Hammerson, Greg Bryk as Lone Man, Daniel Pilon as Senator Rutledge, Sidney Mende-Gibson as Baby Oliver, Lucas Mende-Gibson as Baby Oliver, Kaylyn Yellowlees as Baby Oliver, Ramona Pringle as Baby's Mother, as Hertz's Driver, Tony Munch as Man Who Rides Shotgun, Scott McCord as Killer Shot in Behind

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.