Ken's Review: Shoot 'Em Up - Make Sure to Eat Your Carrots
by Ken Evans
September 6, 2007
My weapon of choice has always been a samurai sword. That is at least after watching Pulp Fiction and seeing Bruce Willis brandish his own samurai sword to go to town on Zed. I figured if he didn't know how to use one, but could still do some damage, then I could probably do it too. A samurai sword has always been it for me, until I watched Shoot 'Em Up. After seeing Shoot 'Em Up, I am officially changing my weapon of choice to a CARROT! Although a carrot might not be a "ranged" weapon, nor is it good to use to block attacks, if you can kill someone with a carrot you will have the best looking finishing kill ever! You can't possibly understand until you see this unbelievably awesome movie. When you see it I'm sure you will have changed your weapon of choice, too.
Shoot 'Em Up is about Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) who while sitting at a bus stop witnesses a pregnant woman being chased by an angry man with a gun. Smith decides to intervene, follows them into a warehouse, and saves the woman. Then a gang of about 30 men, all after the woman, burst in and Smith protects her while assisting in the birth of her baby. But it wasn't until he cut her umbilical cord by shooting it that I realized I was in for a wild ride. Smith spends the rest of the movie protecting the baby from these thugs while trying to find out why they want to kill the baby.
Director/writer Michael Davis finally hit one out of the park. Who is Michael Davis you might ask? Don't you remember seeing Double Dragon, Prehysteria! 2, Prehysteria! 3, or The Incredible Genie? Well, he wrote all of those. He also directed Beanstalk, 100 Girls, and Monster Man. You already know I loved Shoot 'Em Up so you must understand that I have to poke a little fun at Davis for his less-than-amazing string of films. But he has finally drawn the line and decided to write and direct an awesomely entertaining movie that is well worth seeing.
The casting of the movie was spot on. Clive Owen is, as always, the man. His role in this reminds me of the character he played in the BMW films and also his character in Sin City. I think the role of the uncaring action hero fits him perfectly and he should stick to it. Even his character in Children of Men was uncaring at first. Paul Giamatti was perfect playing the bad guy. We already know he is an amazing actor from films like American Splendor, Sideways, and Lady in the Water. Now we know he can play the action role as well. Plus it is nice to see him as a smart guy instead of the insecure, dorky type. Monica Bellucci is as always beautiful and brings sophistication, although as a prostitute, which was a nice change over the bimbo sort that is usually in these types of films.
This movie is so over-the-top ridiculous, and I wouldn't have had it any other way! I love these types of movies. Movies that start intense and never stop, movies that have a lead character that knows he is the man and acts like he is the man, and movies that are so amazingly absurd and illogical, but know it and don't make any excuses for it. Sure, a gun battle while free falling at thirty thousand feet is crazy. Sure, having a carrot as your back up weapon is insane. Sure, crashing your car head on into a van so that the force of the crash catapults you into their vehicle so that you can shoot them sounds crazy. Do I want to watch it though? Yes! And hopefully so will you.