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  Shoot 'Em Up

Starring: Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti, Greg Bryk, Jane McLean

Directed by: Michael Davis

Produced by: Don Murphy, Susan Montford, Rick Benattar

Written by: Michael Davis
Distributor: New Line Cinema

     Shoot ‘Em Up represents a real critical dilemma for me: it is a movie that is as outrageously entertaining as it is degradingly offensive. There is no possible way one could watch Shoot ‘Em Up and not have a good time, but at what cost? The experience will make most viewers want to take a shower as soon as it’s over; “dirty,” “slimy,” and “mean-spirited” are all adjectives that come to mind when attempting to describe it. As I watched a scene in which vigilante protagonist Smith (Clive Owen) ridiculously shows an infant he has rescued the different parts of a hand-gun, something about the experience (albeit engaging) just didn’t feel morally-acceptable to me. Not to mention, the movie also features such questionable elements as a lactating prostitute, a sex scene during a gun-battle, and a certain segment set on a playground in which Smith has to shoot toward the aforementioned baby in order to save it from being killed by the antagonist. Shoot ‘Em Up kind of feels like watching a Quentin Tarantino film with none of the artistic merit to make the amorality present seem cinematically justifiable. Don’t get me wrong: this is a slickly-paced and hyper-stylized motion picture – but nobody’s going to be confusing it for a great work of pop-art anytime soon, nor should they. The picture is so sleek and sensuous that it engages the viewer immensely, but said engagement hardly proves fulfilling. And don’t even get me started on Shoot ‘Em Up’s conclusion, which proceeds to hit the audience over the head with pro-gun-control messages, as if it doesn’t realize that its glamorized characters use guns to kill well over one-hundred individuals throughout its duration.


-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 9.9.2007

Screened on: 9.8.2007 at the Edwards San Marcos 18 in San Marcos, CA.


Shoot 'Em Up is rated R and runs 93 minutes.

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