The story is negligible: lone man Smith (Clive Owen) shows up as a knight in shining armor to a lady who is about to pop a baby, being chased by baddies, then finishes off the huge gang of bad guys who are in pursuit. After the woman is killed, he takes the baby to transient safety and goes on the run with a lactating prostitute named Donna (Monica Bellucci) taking her from her business of kinky sex and makes her the baby's surrogate mother. A smarmy gangster Hertz (Paul Giamatti), connected to an illicit arms manufacturer Hammerson (Stephen McHattie), is in pursuit of both Smith and the baby for reasons that are finally disclosed. The ending is as well eye-catching; unfortunate band of robbers who attempt to rob…... Wait! Wait! Close my mouth! And you go and watch it. But it is the getting there that is all the fun.
Clive Owen as the hero (inexplicably titled Mr. Smith) quite literally never stops shooting. He shoots while having sex, he shoots while in the middle of free-fall, he shoots with his fingers broken. But he is the coolest action hero I have seen in a long time. He’d kill you as fast with a carrot as with a gun (kind of BUGS BUNNY as he has a special fondness for carrot) Paul Giammatti is witty and surprisingly enjoyable to watch as the bad guy (BOLLYWOOD AND KOLLYWOOD can take a look at him). He has just the right feral sadistic sweatiness, and he does great, exasperated takes on the words "God damn it!" Monica Bellucci makes her impossible role credible and as always is gorgeous to look at!
That being said, the gunfights, car chases are stellar and the methods of the endless killings include several (using the carrot that Smith keeps at hand as a weapon). They are lots of fun, with ridiculous things going on the entire time. I liked the part where CLIVE shoots a light board so that the alphabets in it stands FUK U and PAUL after seeing it, shoots it again and now it reads FUK U TOO. The dialog is peppered with hilarious one-liners that have a real edge and as cheesy and lame as you could ask for (FUCK ME SIDEWAYS, SIT HERE showing his MIDDLE FINGER)
Flaws: The shooting starts when the baby is born and doesn’t stop till the credits are rolled. The stunts (including a skydiving gunfight without benefit of parachutes) are over-the-top leaving you exhilarated, also exhausted. It’s hard to wipe the grin off your face when the plot is revealed that the presidential candidate who survives on bone marrow harvested from infants. The violence is very extravagant, but what else did you expect from this title? It is the sort of violence that doesn't really bother you in a film. So dump the flaws.
It is the ultimate guy movie. Shoot Em Up was made to entertain the dozen action junkie, so if you aren't one, you will no doubt hate this flick. Just suspend your reason & logic, turn your brain off for 80 minutes, grab a DVD nearby and enjoy the ride.
Mr. Critic 5-Star: ***1/2