Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

In DVD supplements, director Michael Davis explains that with Shoot 'Em Up he was trying to make "an American John Woo" movie. Specifically, he loved the scene in Hard Boiled where Chow Yun-Fat rescues a bunch of babies from a hospital and decided to turn that into an entire movie. Well I think you can sense the problem with Davis approach. First off, we have American John Woo movies; most of them look like Paycheck and generally stink as compared to his Hong Kong filmmography. Second, he's not just giving a new spin on the bullet ballet, by his own admission, he's just rehashing one scene into an extended 80 minute gunfight. Whatever; I know John Woo and you, Michael Davis, are no John Woo.

The plot, such as it is, involves a mysterious hobo named Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) who randomly stumbles on a pregnant woman under attack from an army of heavily-armed stunt doubles. He delivers her baby (even as he continues firing on people) but fails to save the woman; now he's got take care of her tot and figure out while this army of goons, led by Paul Giamatti as Hertz, so badly wants it. Eventually he turns to a lactating hooker named D.Q. (Monica Bellucci) to feed and care for the baby, and to have vigorous sexual intercourse with him of a middle of a gunfight.

The worst thing about this movie? It made me feel old. I've got a sneaking suspicion that ten years ago I would have loved this movie. The admittedly inventive ways of killing people, the fact that the movie equates Bugs Bunny with a remorseless killing machine (and the fact that Owen kills not one but two people with the sharp end of a giant carrot) Now as an aging 27-year-old fart, I kept feeling like I needed more. For all the blood and quips and people flying through the air with two handguns, I felt empty at the end. Have I really grown up? Egads, I hope not.


Post a Comment

<< Home