Friday, February 15, 2008

Movie Review. Shoot 'Em Up

This is the first celebrity guest blogger we've had on TheRoaringLyon and I hope it's not the last.

I present to you a movie review by SnowMongoose:

Film Review: Shoot 'Em Up

This movie delivers. The title fully expresses what the film is about: over the top, out of control gunplay. Carrot toting bum Smith (Clive Owen) (And yes, he does quote Bugs Bunny) is sucked into a mysterious tumult of bullets and death, obtaining (delivering!) a newborn and ending up at odds with the sadistic and ruthless Hertz (Paul Giamatti). Monica Bellucci reprises the role of ‘hooker with a heart of gold,’ providing extra impetus for Owen as his conscience forces him to protect her and baby Oliver every turn. (More importantly to the plot, Bellucci’s specialty in the world of prostitution is defined by her lactation, making for an atypical heroine)

Owen touches on familiar territory, as an aggressive, very angry, one-lining version of his character from “Children of Men,” and as Smith, he can be summed up in one line: He cuts Oliver’s umbilical cord… with a bullet. Come on, how badass is that?! Seeing Giamatti in such a bizarre role, after growing to appreciate his work in “Sideways” and “Cinderella Man,” was a treat, and provided much of the initial draw for me to see “Shoot em Up” in the first place. (And incidentally redeemed the damage he may have done to his reputation incurred by his role in “The Nanny Diaries”) Combining cold cruelty with quirks (a scarily analytical mind, a brief brush with necrophilia, and recurring cell conversations with his nagging wife) has been seen in the past, but not with the feel that Giamatti accomplished here.

The tempo never wanes, staying redlined for the vast majority of the movie, with only an occasional detour for halfhearted attempts at plot turns. (Intrigue involving the firearms industry, presidential candidates, and harvesting bone marrow, to name a few)

My only regret involving this film is that I only watched it with a handful of buddies, at home… I feel that the combined oohs, ahhs, and “Oh my god, that just happened” type laughter from a full theatre would have been worth every penny of my eight or so dollars. Only if one decided to view this film without taking the title seriously, or had an overt sensitivity to violence could one walk away from it with a bad taste in their mouth: in either case, no amount of changes could have redeemed the experience. I’ll give this one an easy 8 out of 10, crisp, brutal-yet-playful action, inventive shootouts, a uniquely evil villain, and an interesting spin on the obligatory hottie costar.

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