Shoot 'Em Up (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/09/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Impressively directed, frequently silly but nonetheless enjoyable thriller that delivers exactly what the title suggests – 86 minutes of non-stop shoot-'em-up fun.

What's it all about?
Clive Owen plays Smith, who's waiting for a bus when a pregnant woman runs past, pursued by a gang of gun-toting goons. Smith goes to her aid and shoots the gunmen while helping her give birth, but more goons show up and kill the woman, leaving Smith literally holding the baby.

Smith takes the baby and runs, picking up a lactating hooker (Monica Bellucci as Donna) as a wetnurse along the way and trying to stay one step ahead of sleazy boss Hertz (Paul Giamatti) and his army of hired thugs. Soon Smith uncovers a political scandal that explains why so many people want the baby dead, but he's not going down without a fight.

The Good
In a similar vein to last year's Crank, Shoot 'Em Up is much more concerned with delivering 90 odd minutes of non-stop shoot-'em-up action than with little things like character development or the plot making sense. It's a fair trade, because writer-director Mike Davis orchestrates some terrifically inventive gunfights, including the aforementioned childbirth shootout, a gunfight whilst skydiving and, hilariously, a gunfight during sex (Smith clearly doesn't believe in coitus interruptus).

The Great
Owen is brilliantly cast as the carrot-chomping Smith (Eat your vegetables, he deadpans, as he kills someone with a carrot to the brain) and he has strong chemistry with the gorgeous Bellucci as the archetypal tart with the heart. There's also strong support from Paul Giamatti, who makes a terrific adversary for Owen, relishing every line of dialogue and plumbing increasingly sleazy depths in the process, such as copping a feel from a dead woman.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an enjoyably silly shoot-'em-up with superb performances, terrific action scenes and some breath-takingly inventive carrot-wrangling. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Shoot 'Em Up (18)
Shoot 'Em Up has been reviewed by 3 users
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Content updated: 22/08/2018 04:35

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