Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti, Stephen McHattie
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.
As preposterous and over-the-top as Shoot 'Em Up may be, its humor and non-stop action make for a very enjoyable film.
  • New Line Cinema Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 07 Sep 2007 Released:
  • 01 Jan 2008 DVD Release:
  • $12.7M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Garth Ennis Comics Fans Will LOVE This Movie10/10
In this deliriously over-the-top masterpiece of outrageously clever mayhem, star Clive Owen is an unstoppable good-guy gunman who is given to asking the question "you know what I hate?" immediately before letting all hell break loose.

You know what I hate? Dishonest, hypocritical reviewers like the one sitting two seats away from me at the "Shoot 'Em Up" screening I attended. Although he made amused grunts and other appreciative noises during the deliciously inventive stunts, laughed out loud at the jokes, gasped and groaned at all the right gasp-and-groan-worthy places, and generally appeared to be having a grand old time, he said afterward that he didn't like the movie.

What the hell is wrong with critics like that? Are they afraid the art-house crowd won't take them seriously if they express appreciation for a film in which a newborn's umbilical cord is cut with a gunshot, or a thug gets killed by having a carrot shoved in his mouth and out the back of his head? What, you mean Bergman or Antonioni never filmed a lactating hooker tearing out a ring from a Marilyn Manson lookalike's "personal area" to convince him to talk?

Ahem.

Although the posters for "Shoot 'Em Up" resemble Frank Miller comic-book drawings come to life, the actual movie has more in common with the work of another comic-book great: Garth Ennis, writer of such jaw-droppingly hyper-violent heroes as Marvel's the Punisher. (Although the awful 2004 "Punisher" movie included some supporting characters and plot points that originated with Ennis, it lacked anything resembling his very dark yet fiercely entertaining style. The guy definitely has a way of making vigilantes and their dangerous toys fascinating.)

Owen plays Mr. Smith -- and that's probably not his real name -- a guy who is simply waiting for a bus when he gets drawn into one of the wildest, most crazy-violent action opening scenes of all time. By the time the bullets stop flying, Smith is on the run with a complete stranger's targeted-for-death baby and one hell of a lot of questions.

Smith enlists a kinky "got milk" hooker (Monica Bellucci) to wet-nurse the infant. Despite some tough talk, she turns out to be more placidly sensual and maternal than kick-ass tomboy, which makes for a nice change in this kind of movie.

Meanwhile, a sadistically evil genius appropriately named Hertz (Paul Giamatti) dogs their trail with a never-ending army of hired killers and, yes, a couple of dogs. Giamatti scores as this badass with brains, who is shocked and hilariously furious about how Smith & Company keep managing to survive. "Do we suck this bad," he says at one point, "or is this guy really that good?"

Writer/director Michael Davis has loaded the film with one unforgettably imaginative image after another: spent shell casings bouncing off a pregnant woman's stomach, a gun dropping in an unflushed toilet, a hand with bullets between the fingers shoved into a fireplace as an improvised weapon. There are showdowns, standoffs, car chases, airborne gun battles and even a shootout in a firearms factory.

Best of all, the screenplay manages to both glorify in and yet subvert some of the things you'll be expecting. For example, it's a mega-body-count, blizzard-of-bullets barrage that's actually a plea for gun control at heart. Seriously. Also, although it has scenes referencing bits from movies as diverse as "Lost Highway," "The Transporter" and even "Raising Arizona" (how's that for range?), it still feels fresh and original.

And there's one perfectly done little scene that's so poignant you may actually find yourself tearing up. Don't worry, though -- a hail of gunfire follows very shortly thereafter. Heck, a hail of gunfire follows shortly after EVERYTHING in this movie, usually including other hails of gunfire!

I can't wait to see what relative newcomer Michael Davis does for his next movie, but it will be hard for him to top this one. "Shoot 'Em Up" is a flat-out joy to watch. When it was over, the first thing I said was, "I want to see this movie again RIGHT NOW!" It's that good!
Thin on plot, thick on action10/10
I rated this movie a 10 in the context of other action movies; it's nowhere near a 10 when compared to classics like Casablanca, but in it's genre, it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do.

Clive Owen stars as "Smith" a guy with a past (that's slowly revealed during the crazy gun fights) who shows up as a knight in shining armor to a lady who is about to pop a baby and is being chased by baddies, headed up by Paul Giamatti. After he rescues the kid, he links back up with an old flame, DQ, played by Monica Bellucci. The movie starts out with a bang, quite literally and doesn't settle down the entire time. There's a plot somewhere in the movie, but if you think too hard, it'll disappear in a puff of logic.

That being said, the gunfights and car chases are stellar. They are lots of fun, with ridiculous things going on the entire time. Just suspend your reason & logic, strap into your theater seat and enjoy the ride.

Michael Davis spoke before the preview and said he was an action movie buff since the beginning and made the movie he wanted to make. As an action movie fan, I thank him!
Fantastic Fun9/10
Think about the title of the movie, because if you don't like that than just stay home. This movie lives up to its name in a fresh, fun and humorous way. Clive Owen is great as Mr. Smith, the coolest action hero I have seen in a long time. Paul Giammatti is witty and surprisingly enjoyable to watch as the bad guy. If you take this film too serious than you will not like it. Yes, it is a ridiculous film filled with non-stop action that would never be humanly possible, babies being thrown around but yet staying protected by the humorous Mr. Smith. This film was so fun and yes over the top, but if you expect anything more you probably will be disappointed. The violence was very extravagant, but what else did you expect from this title? It is the sort of violence that doesn't really bother you in a film. It's flashy and well, it's entertainment. Just like this movie, it was entertaining and I loved it.
Take it for what it is9/10
Wow. Shoot 'Em Up is exactly what it claims to be. An action movie. Balls to the wall, no holds barred, but nothing more. And that's exactly what you get. Don't go expecting high art...SEU doesn't take itself seriously enough for that. But that's exactly what makes it work. It KNOWS it's over the top, and doesn't try to hide it. Clive Owen's Smith character is the Bugs Bunny to Paul Giamatti's Hurtz Elmer Fudd. The film takes the best cartoon elements, makes them flesh, and still kicks in that over the top craziness. Bad puns that are so bad they're good, action sequences that there just for the sake of having an action sequence, and the wildest sex scene ever...it's amazing. It's the funniest, coolest, most amazing mix of stunts, bad one liners and paper think plot lines.

You get everything you expect from Shoot 'Em Up...and it's all great.
Gun Porn At Its Best8/10
I wasn't really sure what to make of this movie before I went to the advanced screening. I heard from a friend of mine at the Chicago Tribune (she's female, and you'll see why that matters in a second) and she said, "It was so stupid! It was like, BANG BANG BANG, EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE, BANG BANG BANG! Then gallons of blood and we move on." For some reason, the little boy in me that loved the scene in Predator where all of the soldiers shoot at open woods for a complete minute, got very excited. She wasn't kidding, either, that's just what this movie was. Don't worry about the plot, it's not really a concern. Don't worry about the script either, the lines are so over the top and shallow that you know a man wrote this script without allowing anyone to comment on it.

At the same time, this movie is just plain fun. You will find yourself laughing from the moment the movie starts to the ending (which you won't be glancing at your watch while waiting for). There are funny lines, funny situations, and stuff that is so impossible in the real world that you can't help but chuckle. Various moments during the film, I found myself applauding along with the audience, maybe not for the film, but for how writer/director Michael Davis got our hero out of another situation.

The directing, as opposed to the writing, was done very well, especially for a movie like this. If you take the directing too seriously, the script won't work, which is probably why Michael Davis did both. Clive Owen delivers another strong performance, adapting to the cheesy script and outrageous events like a participant in a prank or gag. Monica Bellucci plays the most serious role in the film, and still takes to mocking her life and situation in this movie like the rest of them. My favorite character would still have to be the sly Paul Giamatti, who is given some pretty crazy situations himself but they are coupled with the only lines of any intelligence (or longer than about four words).

By the end of this movie, I was having a lot of fun watching a plot unfold that I didn't really care about. That doesn't deter the film, though, because it's kind of like a stunt show, you're not really concerned with the story. I loved it and, apparently, so did most of the audience. It really reminded me of seeing, well, a live action movie that was more like a video game (we even have coordinated colors for the costumes of the "bad guys" in the various "levels"). I'd like to use this film as an example to my (former) favorite critic Roger Ebert as a perfect example of how video games can be construed in the same light as video games, because Roger, this is clearly a movie made by a large video game fan.