Monday, 15 August 2011

Randomness: Shoot ‘Em Up

Funny story. The first time I saw Shoot ‘Em Up (about six months ago) a friend of mine was living at our house for a while and around the same time I was talking about Clive Owen’s Children of Men with him. So, one morning – around one – he wakes me up to tell me that a Clive Owen movie is showing - Children of Men is showing. It’s about two minutes after the credits and I’m still groggy so I’m wondering if this is some part of Children of Men that I forgot. After the first gunshot jarred me awake I realised that this probably isn’t Children of Men, but my interest is piqued and I end up watching out the entire movie – having no idea what it was.
If you’re reading this space you know my taste in film, so any appreciation for Shoot ‘Em Up seems strange, but it was on TV this past weekend and I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen. The film opens with a massive shootout during which a baby is born, a baby that Smith (Clive Owen at his best, I kid you not) is hell-bent on keeping alive for reasons I’m unaware of. What ensues is a series of chases, shootouts, occasional gratuitous sex, lots of violence of violence and a brilliant film. I always seem to love Clive Owen from a distance. He gives two fine performances in Gosford Park and Closer, (and one very good one in Duplicity) in all the films he gets one-upped by his costars and in both films I find it difficult to love him. But, in Shoot ‘Em Up as he torpedoes around getting into a series of hijinks it’s difficult to doubt that he has leading power charisma.
The film features two good supporting performances – Monica Bellucci giving what’s probably her best performance and Paul Giamati (who stars opposite Owen in Duplicity) in all his hammy glory being brilliant. I suppose gratuitous violence is what you’d think of when you see Shoot ‘Em Up and I perhaps won’t dispute that its plot is shaky at best. But, I find the film riveting. Looking back at my 2007 Actor ballot (see it here), I’d probably chuck out Depp in Sweeney Todd for Owen in this.
Am I right, or am I crazy? How awesome is Shoot 'Em Up?


Walter L. Hollmann said...

Shoot 'Em Up is a wonderful, beautiful movie that celebrates and lampoons the action genre (and Looney Tunes) all at once. It is amazing, amazing, amazing, and I still occasionally say, "You're a wascally little wabbit, aren'tcha?"

Univarn said...

Don't ask me why but this movie is way too addicting. I think I love the fact that its so blatantly camp and knows it and takes full advantage of it. You liking this movie - in any shape or form - hell, you'd have cleaned up Las Vegas betting against the odds on that one!

Nicholas Prigge said...

You, my friend, have just convinced me to see this movie. It's something like #54 in my Netflix queue, but no longer! Straight to the top!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

walter "amazing, amazing, amazing" indeed.

univarn it is addicting. it's as if i can't STOP watching it while it's showing. it's excellently edited.

nicholas i'm a) bashful that i've got that much influence and b) stoked that you're going to see it. it's worth it. (kindly blog about it whenever you do.)