Say what you will about Shoot 'Em Up, you have to give the madcap actioner points for truth in advertising. With a title like that, you don't exactly expect an intricate plot or lavish character development. And it's a good thing too. Shoot 'Em Up couldn't care less about such finer points. It's one preposterous action sequence after another; a film in which the escalation of violence is inversely proportional to its plummeting taste.

While minding his own business on a bench one evening, the generically named Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) witnesses a terrified pregnant woman stagger past him and into a dilapidated building with gun-wielding thugs hot on her heels. Mr. Smith reaches into his trench coat, pulls out a large carrot from which he takes a hefty bite, and proceeds to use it to kill or maim the small army. Unfortunately the pregnant woman is killed in the ensuing hail of gunfire, but not before the handy-to-have-around Mr. Smith delivers her baby and safely flees the scene.

It's obvious that Mr. Smith has no idea what to do with the child. Nor does his unlikely ally, a prostitute named DQ (Monica Bellucci)—but at least she's better equipped for the task than the carrot munching Smith, who talks her into caring for the baby while he snoops around and tries to figure out why Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti), an FBI profiler gone bad, keeps sending a seemingly inexhaustible supply of expendable henchmen to kill the child. What Smith uncovers is a convoluted marriage of convenience between the largest gun manufacturer in America and an ailing presidential candidate who hopes to harvest the child's bone marrow.

Not that most actions films are slaves to realism and authenticity, but Shoot 'Em Up delights in being so over the top ...

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Shoot 'Em Up
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
R (for pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality and some language)
Directed By
Michael Davis
Run Time
1 hour 26 minutes
Cast
Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci, Stephen McHattie
Theatre Release
September 07, 2007 by New Line Cinema
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