My rating of Shoot ‘Em Up (aka The Movie Which Needed Just About Any Excuse To Be Made): B (Good)
Cast: Clive Owen, Monica Belluci, Paul Giamatti
Directed by: Michael Davis
Studio: New Line Cinema
Thank the heavens above for directors like Michael Davis. (Directors who’s first name is Mike are so awesome, aren’t they?) They make dick flicks to maintain the disturbance caused in the Yin-Yang balance by the directors who make chick flicks. Dick flick directors’ plot ideas are so succinct that it brings tears to the eyes of any script writer. Like, “Two college buddies on a road trip are being pursued by a terrifying monster truck“ or “A college freshman has sex with a girl during a power outage and never sees her face. When he goes in search of the mystery girl, he realizes there are about one hundred suspects to consider“. So when HBO said that Shoot ‘Em Up would be premiering for the first time today, I had to watch this. Including all the ad breaks it would take just 1.5 hours of my time. That’s how easily you can sum up this movie.
I really don’t feel like talking about the plot here – because I could sum it all up in a few lines and then you’ll have nothing to watch. Clive Owen is a mercenary who’s a cross between Bugs Bunny, Karamchand jasoos, and Hitman. Man. That guy eats more carrots during the entire duration of the movie than the number of bullets fired, and that is not underestimating the number of bullets fired. So there’s this baby whose mother is killed and he decides to protect it. Bad Guys LLC starts chasing Clive Owen (“Mr Smith”) around to kill the baby. (You’ll find out why if you watch the movie…come on, let at least this bit remain secret!) Since babysitters don’t accept carrots as a form of currency, Mr Smith brings a hooker (Monica Bellucci) into the picture to take care of the baby. Hilarity gunfight ensues.
Forget torturing someone with cigarette stubs. Bad guys shoot a few bottles to ‘heat up the gun nozzle’ and then use it to burn someone’s skin. Owen wants to track down the baby’s mother, so he decides to go to a club which plays heavy metal. Why? Because when switching between TV channels, the baby starts crying if news channel is on and stops if you switch to a music channel playing death metal <insert joke about the irony of the baby’s mom being dead>. The reason for this is given as follows: Baby’s mom spends a lot of time at death metal club > Baby heard a lot of death metal while in the womb > Baby (thus) stops crying on hearing death metal (as opposed to a lullaby) > Hence Proved (I’ve so desperately wanted to write these two words after class 10th.)
Don’t you ever let Rajnikanth see this movie. If he does, then he’ll commit suicide by snoring up milk through his nose to drown himself. Leaving aside the kick-ass (literally) gunfights, this movie has such memorable moments. Like when Clive Owen needs to kill THE Bad Guy (Paul Giamatti grinning like a vampire), so he puts bullets between his fingers and holds his hand close to a fireplace. (If you don’t know what that does, dumbass, the answer is that the bullets shoot forward just like they would from a gun.) The finishing touch is given by a little flame on Owen’s index finger which he blows out. You see how deep this movie is? That was a reference to a smoking gun!
Then there’s this scene where Owen gives a short anti-gun lecture on an airplane, kills a guy, then jumps off with a parachute. Ever-resourceful baddies (in large numbers) join in the skydive. There. Is. A. Gunfight. Mid-air. If you buy an original DVD of the movie and watch it with subtitles on, it says at this point “Ha! Up yours, Equilibrium“. Wanna know what level of gore is there? During this skydiving scene, a bad guy falls on the rotating blades of a helicopter (mid-air) and gets dismembered (zoom at this point to bloody hand).
Michael Davis snocks a cook at other movies in the dick flick genre too. Let me demonstrate. When Owen-Bellucci are discussing what to feed Oliver (the baby’s name – chosen because Mr Smith “…didn’t hate the book Oliver Twist”) while Bellucci and the baby are holed up inside a friggin’ tank (don’t ask, don’t ask…), Owen suggests ‘pureed carrots’ instead of ‘Beech-Nut Baby Food’. And the classic line (by Owen)…
I hate those lame action movies where they call only one ‘good guy’ and get double-crossed. So instead of just the NBC, I also called ABC, The Post…and the FBI.
If only getting in touch with top media outlets and the FBI was so easy, so many more crimes would get reported sooner. No, no, NO – I don’t even want to know the outrageous back-story on how Owen made it past IVRS systems / receptionists.
There are a few funny moments. Owen decides to lecture a mom who’s spanking her kid at a railway station by spanking her butt, giving a short lecture along the lines of “How do YOU feel now?”. And when Owen & Bellucci are having sex while the baby is howling for attention (edited out by HBO), a few bad guys charge in and Owen shoots them down; says, “Now that’s discharging your load.” Or the Rube Goldberg machine set-up that Owen uses to single-handedly take down a team of shooters when cornered in a gun factory.
The second best scene is saved for last. In a robbery holdup, Owen snatches a robber’s gun using a carrot (no kidding!) before proceeding to kill the robber and his pals. There’s a mind-bogglingly complex chain which involves shooting a dead guy in the arm, which in turn makes the dead guy fire a bullet, which in turn blows up a milkshake glass, which in turn…you’ve gotta see it to believe it.
But you know what? All this stuff defines this movie. This is what it makes an enjoyable watch. It’s outrageous at such a FTW level that when you’re watching the movie, you can help but to cheer it wildly till the finishing line. I don’t like eating popcorn during a (potentially) thought-provoking movie because I find it distracting. I finished a BIG bowl when watching Shoot ‘Em Up.