Monday, October 9, 2017

Shoot 'em Up

I will never forget highly recommending today’s film, 2007’s Shoot ‘em Up (trailer), to a coworker after catching it at the theater. A short time later he came back to me in a not-so-delightful manner and proceeded to lambast me about how much he and his wife hated it. Ever since then I taught myself to never glowingly gush about any film to friends and peers. Even if I know a film will make my annual top 10 rankings, when it comes up in conversation and only when prompted I will respond with simply mild approval in order to avoid raising expectations.

From that experience and a few others with films belonging to the ‘gratuitous over-the-top’ action genre (Crank, Drive Angry, Hardcore Henry) , I came to find out people either really love or really despise these films. As you can see, I belong to the former group. Like Crank and Hardcore Henry, Shoot ‘em Up puts its outrageous action and stunts at the forefront and attaches an eyebrow-raising exposition in order to somehow tie it all together. Smith (Clive Owen) is minding his own business at a bus stop when a mother-to-be in labor dashes by him, and she is pursued moments later by henchmen working under a man known as Hertz (Paul Giamatti). Smith reluctantly decides to save the day and delivers the baby, only to see that he is to be ruthlessly chased by a countless amount of thugs in all sorts of ridiculous shootouts. Smith tries to bring the newborn to safe refuge to his friend DQ (Monica Bellucci), only to discover that Hertz is still right on his tail, and the rest of the film is a cat and mouse game with Smith trying to stay a step or two ahead of Hertz while trying to piece together how this diabolical plot came to be.

The unbelievable, unapologetic action is what Shoot ‘em Up is all about. There are too many ‘yeah, right’ moments in the film to count, and eventually it got to the point where I accepted it and rolled with it to see what the filmmakers would shove in my face next. If Mr. Smith would have it his way, it would be carrots…literally. It has been 10 years since I first saw this film and every time I have seen an ordinary carrot, I instantly hearken back to several priceless moments in Shoot ‘em Up. I do not want to give a lot away on how crazy the action is, because the ‘what will they throw at me next’ X-factor is what keeps this film moving. Most of the stunts and action worked for me, but like I said in the intro, there are people I have talked to who were not on board with Shoot ‘em Up right from the beginning so there is a decent chance this take on action films may not be up your alley.

Clive Owen is perfect as the man of few words, Mr. Smith. He will occasionally mutter a super-cheesy one-liner that would make 80s action flicks proud. Giamatti is also spot-on as the villain Hertz, and Shoot ‘em Up does a great job conveying that Hertz is a little off his rocker. Hertz is a former FBI Profiler who garbles throwaway lines about using his profiler instincts in order to figure out where Smith and DQ are off to next. The three plays off each other well whenever they encounter one another throughout the film, and the film pulls no punches when it comes to their final clash.

There are a decent amount of extras on the BluRay. There are eight minutes of deleted scenes, and make sure to check them out with director’s commentary as I was losing it at one scene where Michael Davis stated he had to cut a scene because of feedback that it was ‘too unbelievable.’ There is a 53 minute making of feature titled Ballet of Bullets. It is pretty comprehensive at breaking down the origins and inspirations for the film, dissecting the latest weaponry in the film and explaining how they pulled off some of the stunts. Definitely check that out or instead opt for the ‘enhanced visual commentary’ that is available to play alongside the entirety of Shoot ‘em Up. The visual commentary plays clips of interviews with many cast and crew members talking about relative scenes that are playing out and it recycles a fair amount of excerpts from Ballet of Bullets. It was a nice way to experience the film again and get a little more insight throughout from many perspectives. There is also a standalone audio commentary track with director, Michael Davis, but he chimes in frequently throughout the visual commentary so I skipped his additional audio track.

I am a big fan of straight-up action films, but it is only every so often that we get ones as outlandish as this. Again, do not let me overhype this for you if this style of action/comedy is not what you are into. If you checked out the linked preview in the intro, you will know what you are in for. Suffice it to say, if you do not mind a good dose of crazy injected into your action movies, then you cannot go wrong with Shoot ‘em Up.

Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs

12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
21 Jump Street
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Atari: Game Over
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Bounty Hunters
Cabin in the Woods
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Christmas Eve
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Clint Eastwood 11-pack Special
The Condemned 2
Dirty Work
Fast and Furious I-VIII
Field of Dreams
Fight Club
The Fighter
For Love of the Game
Good Will Hunting
Guardians of the Galaxy
Hercules: Reborn
The Interrogation
Man of Steel
Marine 3-5
Mortal Kombat
National Treasure
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
The Replacements
Rocky I-VII
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2
San Andreas
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Steve Jobs
Source Code
Star Trek I-XIII
Take Me Home Tonight
The Tooth Fairy 1 & 2
Veronica Mars
The War
The Wrestler (2008)
X-Men: Days of Future Past

No comments:

Post a Comment