If you’re expecting some sort of intricate plot line with complex character development, you’ll want to avoid this film. If you’re looking for fun with guns, hot women, and pure escapism, then this is a good choice.
You can tell the way this is presented that Shoot ‘Em Up is nothing more than a good time and is set up in such a way that it’s not trying to be anything more than what it is.
You have the typical ingredients – the cool (anti)hero played by Clive Owen, the hot love interest/eye candy with Monica Belucci, and the over-the-top bad guy featuring Paul Giamatti. All 3 actors do a great job with their roles and while they’re all very capable actors, they play these stereotypical characters with the strength of craft they’re all known for.
As far as the writing goes – the storyline functions in this film much like a storyline does in a porn film – it’s just there to get you from point a to point b, it doesn’t offer much outside of trying to get Clive Owen into situations where he has to shoot people, which seems to be every 5-10 minutes or so. But that’s what this film is all about – guns, the (anti)hero, the hot babe, guns, the villain, guns, and a baby(?). Yes, there’s even a baby to make the peril more perilous but with no less shooting. In fact it makes these situations for our (anti)hero all the more challenging, shooting and carrying a baby at the same time (yes this happens, more than once in fact). So that’s what this film boils down to: gun porn. Not much of a plot (although what plot exists is outlandish of course), good actors in stereotypical roles, guns, and a baby.
In terms of the action – there’s plenty of it! You won’t need to worry too much about a lull in the action at any point. There’s even action during the obligatory sex scene (and I don’t mean just the obvious kind of action here); there are literally gun fights even in this scene! Overall the action sequences are pretty well choreographed and well over the top, much fun!
The bottom line here is that if you’re looking for a fun, escapist way of killing an hour and a half and you like gun fights and action movies – check out Shoot ‘Em Up.
reviewed by Sean McKnight