Clive Owen. Monica Bellucci. Paul Giamatti. Snappy dialog. Mind-blowing action sequences… & comedic timing to a T — 7 excellent reasons why this is an incredibly entertaining movie.

Smartly directed by Michael Davis from his original script, ‘Shoot ’em up’ is a non-stop action ride, fulfilling the promise of portraying “everything cool you can do with a gun”.

Mr. Smith (the suave Owen) is a carrot-chewing samaritan who comes to the rescue of a very pregnant woman being chased by gun-toting gangsters. Setting the comedic tone of this over-the-top movie by killing the first intruder with a carrot, Smith unleashes his overwhelming shooting skills, amassing body counts that are more for spectacle, than to horrify. Delivering the baby amidst a shoot-out, he blows the newborn’s umbilical chord off with a gun. And that is not the most exaggerated sequence of the picture.

Entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the baby once the mother dies in the fight, Smith takes the infant to DQ, a lactating prostitute (the incredibly sensual Belucci). Together, they try to keep the baby safe from Mr. Hertz (Giamatti), a former FBI behavioral scientist now working for the wrong side of the law. 

The plot is rather simplistic. Involving a dying senator, the gun lobby, and an operation that’s harvesting babies for their healthy bone marrows, the entire story is essentially a big platform for one action sequence after another.

Impeccably choreographed spectacles that range from the intercourse shoot-out, to the car chase, the falling out of the airplane, to the final confrontation with Hertz… Davis doesn’t pull any punches. From Smith’s wise-cracks, to Hertz’s work being interrupted by his nagging wife’s calls… attempting a larger-than-life feel (somewhat reminiscent of last year’s hit 300, but comedic), Davis doesn’t let up on any visual gag or campy punchline. If it makes the moment pop, he uses it.

Precise direction, excellent acting, and a visual style that suits the genre, “Shoot ’em up” is a must-watch for any action-comedy enthusiast. Logic isn’t the most imperative of principles upheld in this film, but being “cool” is. And at that, this film succeeds completely.

Suggested similar movies – Hot Fuzz.

 Also by Michael Davis – Beanstalk, Eight Days a Week.

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