Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)
Budget: $39 million
Box Office: $13 million US, $12 million int’l, $ million DVD
Directed by: Michael Davis, who previously made Monster Man, Girl Fever, 100 Girls, and the strange and semi-charming Eight Days a Week.
Starring: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Belucci, Greg Byrk, and Stephen McHattie.
This is the R-rated hitman-with-guns-and-blood-instead-of-kung-fu version of a Jackie Chan movie. Campy bad guys…no, wait..super-campy bad guys thrown in with a terrible plot and a ton of sexuality and bullets. No, it’s not quite as insane as Smokin’ Aces, but the difference is a matter of degree, not of kind. There’s been a trend lately toward movies which are huge on effects and visual imagery and extremely shallow on plot and character development. My one word of advice to all would-be action film writers is this. If it doesn’t work on paper, no amount of amped-up FX will make it work on film. If it works on paper, excellent FX will make it unforgettable. My only grudging compliment is for the absurdly brilliant opening sequence where Clive Owen is delivering the baby and shooting bad guys all at the same time. A pro-life hitman? As a satire, it indulges too much in itself to work. Besides, I doubt the average admirer of it can spell irony.