Apologies that I left you high and dry without the blog I promised you yesterday. I thought I could get it done in the morning before I went to work, but I was thrown a curve ball when Cami woke up with a crazy eye infection. She was a little paranoid about handling Henry because she didn’t want to pass the infection onto him. So I ended up calling in late to work, managing Henry until I could take him to his 6-month check up at 9:00 AM. I pretty much spent the rest of the day catching up.
But better late than never right? I wanted to jump back in here to give you my thoughts on Shoot ‘Em Up, which I saw last Sunday.
I’ve had a few days to digest the movie and I still really like it. The movie is what the title implies – a full-throttle action movie with an hour and a half of gunplay. A shoot ’em up. As cliche as it is to say so, this movie comes barrelling out of the gate and doesn’t let up. It’s pretty much nothing but back to back action sequences.
Clive Owen plays Smith, a mysterious carrot-chomping gunhand. A kind of new-millennium Bugs Bunny in flesh in blood. Lots of blood. In the opening sequence he protects a pregnant women from a gang of gun-toting hoods in black leather. Within five minutes, he crams a carrot into the mouth of one of the aggressors and shoves it through the back of his skull. Later, after helping deliver the baby, he severs the umbilical cord at point blank range.
That level of cartoonish, over-the-top violence is Shoot ‘Em Up’s trademark. Either you recognize that and go along with it or you’ll be frustrated by the number of action movie cliches the movie piles one on top of the other. But if you’re in on the joke, Shoot ‘Em Up is one of the best action movie parodies of all time. Due in no small part to Clive Owen, who plays it completely straight.
The only time the movie falters is when it attempts to add plot or character motivation to the proceedings. This is weird for me because, typically, movies I don’t like generally don’t give enough focus to these integral aspects of movie making. Here’s a film that I think would be better served if they did away with them altogether!
I don’t need to know the grand political conspiracy behind Clive Owen’s motivation to keep the baby safe. I don’t need to know that his character was the son a British gunsmith who moved to America in the 1960’s, was a crack shot, recruited into the Army and trained by Black Ops. Who cares? Half of the stuff he does in the film is physically impossible anyway, so why try to contextualize it with any sense of believability?
I usually bristle at movies that ask you to switch your mind off and "enjoy the ride." It contributes to the dumbing down of our culture when we don’t ask for more from our media. But I’m completely willing Shoot ‘Em Up slide because any attempt to add shading or complexity only slows it down. It works much better as a parody. In some ways, I’m disappointed it didn’t go further!
At any rate, that’s my reaction to the film. If you have a lazy Sunday, I suggest checking it out. I’d didn’t do great at the box office last weekend, but I have a feeling that this movie is going to be huge on DVD – a cult classic. Check it out on the big screen while you still can.
New comic tomorrow! See you then!
You knew exactly what you were getting based on the title alone!
Can you imagine if other movies just cut to the chase like that?
Think of the time you’d save picking up movies you see!
The best stuff is in the trailer
:10 of nudity