Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It would appear, and sadly so, that the action crime flick is dead and the time has come to officially kiss this most cherished of genre’s goodbye.  I tell you this not because ‘Shoot ‘em up’ was an awful film, because actually ‘Shoot ‘em up’ was exactly as promised and quite the kick in the pants to boot, but the due to the sissyfication of the demographic, there is no more market for guns, car chases, gratuitous violence, unnecessary nudity and convoluted confusing conspiracy plots.  Unless of course it has some pop idol in it such as Damon, Clooney, Smith or Crowe that you metros can cream over after the movie is over.  The last three films of this particular genre ‘Running Scared’, ‘Lucky Number Slevin’, and ‘Smokin’ Aces’ grossed combined what one of those whack Pirate movies took in on it’s opening weekend.  ‘Shoot ‘em up’ too will end up being an unmitigated box office flop because the alleged demographic, men between the ages of 18-35 are obviously too busy getting Botox shots, having their eyebrows arched and caving into their girlfriends (those that like girls at least) desire to watch Pirate movies, weak Romantic comedies, lame horror flicks (‘Hatchet’ which you chose to avoid is superior to ‘Halloween’ in every conceivable way, which you flocked to), and whatever other remake, TV show rehash, super hero sequel that Access Hollywood tells you to see.  If I seem upset with you Mr. Demographic, it is because I am.  YOU drive what THEY make and since you avoid the kinds of films that MEN used to like to see, we get movies that this new breed of Suntan bed laying, manicure receiving, nipple ring piercing, mascara wearing group of metrosexuals want to see.  Jesus come and take us away.

‘Shoot ‘em up’ is simple enough.  A dude known only as ‘Smith’ (Clive Owen) sits at a bus stop while a pregnant woman (Romana Pringle) is being chased.  Against his better judgment he lends the woman a hand and runs into a crap load of automatic weapon toting black leather wearing heavies led by one Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti) for his trouble.  Hertz wants the woman and the baby dead, and despite Smith’s best

efforts he manages to ice the mother but Smith, through a series over the top completely implausible action sequences, manages to save the child.  Now in a bit of a bind, Smith needs somebody to take care of the baby so he takes it to lactating Italian prostitute Donna Quintano (Monica Bellucci) whose services he has partaken in the past.  Donna refuses the offer but Hertz being a self proclaimed genius tells his men to look for every lactating streetwalker, whore or prostitute available ‘because the baby has got to eat.’  Excuse me, but don’t they have Similac in this mythical world?

Smith isn’t the kind of guy to leave girl in a lurch and despite the fact that Donna couldn’t tell the bad guy where the baby was, Hertz was still ready to torture.  Smith saves the day as he, his prostitute surrogate mother and his new found baby take to the run to save their lives and hopefully discover why these people want this baby dead so bad.  Well the conspiracy goes way deep and the hired guns go even deeper as the mystery goes to the highest levels of the gubment.  Will ‘Smith’ prevail?  Well I’m not one to spoil it for you but…

Would you believe that, despite the fact the more people die in this movie by rapid fire gun action than probably more movie than I’ve seen ever, this is an anti-gun movie?  Called ‘Shoot ‘em up’?  Yes, I know it’s ridiculous but everything about this movie is completely ridiculous.  There’s a ‘love scene’ in this film, which you would actually have to see to believe because I can say I’ve never seen one like that before.  Also, though it has nothing to do with ‘narrative’ of the film, there is a simple scene where Monica Bellucci puts her finger in her mouth.  There is probably not a woman on the planet who could make such a benign, simple act appear as wantonly pornographic as Ms. Bellucci can.  Director Michael Davis, who I’m guessing has never had a Botox shot, directs this thing as if his ass is on fire slowing down only to infuse some perfunctory reason to speed it up again and have the bullets start flying once more.

Yes, a lot of this film probably makes very little sense.  Yes, you would think that Clive Owens being 6’ 3” and probably weighing over 200 pounds would be a fairly easy stationary target to hit by a bunch of trained killers with automatic weapons.  Yes, the dialog and one liners border on the painfully lame.  Yes, there will be a day when Monica Bellucci won’t be SO DAMN FINE (but that day ain’t today).  I could talk about the solid performances by Owen, Giamatti, Bellucci, and the always amusing Steven McHattie but it’s pointless because A. this movie is about shooting shit up and B. You’re not going to go see it anyway.  The theater I saw ‘Shoot ‘em up’ at had 8 people in it.  Me, who has recently fallen out of the demographic and seven really old people.  Old men who are STILL men and their women who love men who are STILL men.

So go on out and get your scheduled bikini wax and hope for another genetically ambiguous Captain Jack Sparrow flick Mr. Demographic while MY favorite genre gets relegated to Direct to Video.  You disgust me.

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