Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What was that? That was the sound of awesome.

Have you ever watched a movie and thought to yourself 'Wow. That was fucking sweet. You know who would love that? No one I know.'? That's the thought that Shoot 'Em Up left me with.

It's essentially every possible action cliche, thrown into a blender and poured onto the screen. Plot? Who cares. Guns? Tons of them. Crazy technology? Sure, on the guns. Hero with a mysterious past? Yuppers. Hooker with a heart of gold? You know it.

At the center of the 'story' is a baby, a murdered mother and a man with a love of carrots. Clive Owen is that man. And, really, if you told me that it was nothing more than Clive Owen stirring soup for an hour and a half, I would have watched this movie. I've liked everything I've seen him in. I'll go on record here and say that Clive Owen is one hell of a good actor.

It's a bizarre sort of movie, the kind that is difficult to describe. Like I said, the plot isn't really a concern, and as such, the story kind of takes the back burner to concentrate on the action sequences. What bit of the story they do concentrate on is pretty far fetched, dealing with gun control, baby farms for bone marrow transplants and political intrigue.

Shoot 'Em Up is not The Bourne Identity (or any of the others for that matter). It never feels like it takes itself very seriously. Maybe that's why it worked for me. I can see why people wouldn't like this one. It's not a movie that would appeal to your averave middle-American WalMart soccer mom. It's a tough pill to swallow. It's the kind of movie that is probably helped by drinking a couple of beers first. And, you know, that's ok. 8 babies in bullet proof vests with a sock on their heads out of 10.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I couldn't understand why this movie got the short end of the stick at the B.O. It was built as a funhouse ride, but for some reason people like their action realistic and brutal these days. The prevailing theory is 9/11, of course.

Unknown said...

It didn't have any 'bankable' action stars and the story...well, was largely confusing or non existent. Clive Owen isn't a big name, let alone associated with action.

On top of that, it was an unknown quantity. The Bourne movies are an easy sell to Joe Public. He knows what he's going to get. Shoot Em up has babies in bullet proof vests. If this movie came out 10-15 years ago, you put Will Smith or Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson or even Steve Segal into the role and you make yourself rich off of it. This would have even been a great Jackie Chan movie...in 96. Now, you have no good, established action starts. They're all too old and too interested in doing serious work. And, unfortunatley, you need a star for this movie that can do two things: 1) Lend his well known name to the movie and 2) Know that the joke is on him. While the movie tanked, Last Action Hero is a great example of this.

I hate to say it, but it might have done better at the box office with Jason Stratham instead of Clive Owen.