Shoot ‘Em Up Review

You see a face of a man in close-up, hard, rough, and roughly lit. Music stemming from a Spaghetti Western plays its dramatic tunes. The atmosphere is heavy. Then, the guy begins to eat a carrot. He’s sitting on a bench, nothing happens.

Seconds later a pregnant woman runs past him, pain shows in her face, she’s screaming…and a mobster is on her trails, screaming “You’re dead, bitch”. She runs into a building, the mobster’s right behind her, getting ready to shoot her. Our unnamed guy watches the whole scene in front of him. After both are out of sight he mumbles “Fuck it all” and goes after them.

Just before the mobster can kill the damsel in distress our unnamed guy closes in. He turns the bad guy around, puts his carrot into the open mouth of the mobster and smashes it right through the neck. His last advice? “Eat your vegetables”.

This, ladies and gentlemen, are the very first two minutes of Shoot ‘Em Up.

One minute later the death toll already reaches eight.

Man, it’s been some time since I’ve had so much fun with an action movie that stays true to its purpose. The last time I was constantly smiling during action scenes was Kick-Ass and Shoot ‘Em Up is no disappointment in that department either. What am I talking writing about…Shoot ‘Em Up basically is one single fucked up action sequence so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that after roughly 80 minutes my face hurt from that much smiling.

Shoot ‘Em Up doesn’t pretend to have a decent thought out plot, this movie doesn’t even try to introduce us to the main character. This movie operates under one single formula: “Hey, let’s have some fun and see in which crazy, ridiculous, implausible, over the top action situations we can put our hero! Muhahahaha.”

Seriously, that’s all about it.

Clive Owen eats a carrot...and that's only the beginning!!!!

Clive Owen eats a carrot...and that's only the beginning!!!!

…Well, okay, you got me, there is some plot involved in all of this, but I let you decide what to think of it: Clive Owen plays the unnamed Mr. Smith who delivers a baby and as a consequence constantly has to safe the little guy from getting killed by unlimited numbers of gangsters. The reason they are after it is a presidency candidate who desperately needs the bone marrow of that baby (which is the result of volunteers being impregnated by that candidate’s little swimmers so the DNA fits). Later on he gets some help from a hooker with a heart of gold, so Owen at least sometimes has the chance to use both hands as he doesn’t need to hold the baby.

As you can see, a plot does exist but there’s no real reason to think about it for a second. The only things that are important are the action sequences that get more and more absurd with each passing second. Shoot ‘Em Up possibly contains any and every action sequence cliché you can think of – while pushing everything to the extremes. Heck, this movie even has a James Bond style action moment in mid air, and as you can guess, puts the original one to shame in terms of speed, violence and ridiculousness.

I fully agree with Roger Ebert when he’s writing that even he has a sneaky regard for movies that go much, much further than too far. I am exactly the same, perhaps even more extreme than Roger Ebert. As a result I not only like Shoot ‘Em Up, I love it for this very reason.

Shoot ‘Em Up a fun brainless wild ride that tops almost everything in the action department you can think of with the exception of Crank perhaps and some other handpicked extreme action movies. So if you liked Crank and are in need of another shot of ridiculous action I highly recommend you to give this movie a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

Great fun at its most ridiculous. Take some popcorn and enjoy!
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