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DVD Review: Shoot ‘Em Up

DVD Review: Shoot ‘Em Up


A gritty, fast-paced action thriller, “Shoot ‘Em Up” kicks into high gear with a memorable opening scene and never relents. Clive Owen stars as Mr. Smith, a mysterious loner who teams up with an unlikely ally (Monica Belluci) to protect a newborn baby from a determined criminal (Paul Giamatti) who hunts them throughout the bowels of the city.

If you extracted a subplot from any given Quentin Tarantino film (see “Pulp Fiction” or “Kill Bill”) and stretched it into a full movie, then you know what you can expect from “Shoot ‘Em Up”. The film is nothing but outrageous violence with an underlying black humor (carrot as a deadly weapon, anyone?) though the performances really made this movie. Clive Owen is perfect for the lone wolf character Smith; for as he has proven before he has skill in fleshing out a rather stoic or man-of-few-words character into someone the audience can feel and root for. Hertz, played by Paul Giamatti, is the guy you love to hate: a sleazy, annoyingly intelligent baby-killing bad guy.

The DVD offered a good selection of Special Features that made the film even more likeable. It included “Ballet of Bullets – The Making of SHOOT ‘EM UP”, some deleted scenes, trailers and even the director’s original “Animatics” which helped sell the studio on the movie. Over two hours of Special Features later and any action junkie will feel satisfied with all the munitions and stunt talk.

Though I’m not normally one for gratuitous violence, I have to admit I liked this film. It’s a cheesy, funny, and action-packed romp through what most would say “really matters” in an action flick – lots of guns, big booms and the potential of getting the girl – and makes no apologies for it. But let me offer a buyer’s beware: this movie is definitely not for the under 17 crowd.

Review by Marie Holzer

Grade: B
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