Dave White
Shoot 'Em Up Review

Dave's Rating:


… rips off John Woo's Hard-Boiled

Who's in It: Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti

The Basics: Owen, a man with no name — but called Mr. Smith — is minding his business, eating a carrot, when a guy chasing a pregnant woman runs past. He steps in to help, gets involved in a shootout all while delivering the baby, and then has to save that baby's life from a gang of bad guys, led by Giamatti, who run a baby-farming operation. To this end, he enlists lactating prostitute Bellucci. More people die via guns and carrots and a whole lot of other ways, too.

What's the Deal? If you read my reviews regularly, then you know that I really like insanely senseless violence in movies — the gnarlier the better. On that front, this is a big slam dunk of crazy, tasteless bloodshed. But here's what I hate: lazy scripts that just rip off John Woo's Hard-Boiled and don't make any bones about it. Get your own ideas.

Another Thing to Hate: Having jokes constantly explained and underlined. I get the carrot. He's Bugs Bunny, and this is an R-rated, time-and-space-disregarding Warner Bros. cartoon with lots of splatter effects. But was it necessary for Giamatti to call Owen a "wascally wabbit?" or for Owen to say, "What's up, Doc?" No, it wasn't. And when it's time for the Benny Hill punch line to be delivered after a shootout where Owen and Bellucci keep having sex while gunning down bad guys, does there have to be that extra beat of dead space while the film holds for the laugh? Again, I vote no.

Yet Another Thing to Hate: Lack of coverage. Coverage is when you shoot enough footage to make editing something other than a choice of "Well, that shot looks like crap, but this other one looks even crappier, so let's go with the one that looks least horrible." And I'm talking specifically about the infant in peril. There are some really odd choices being made with regard to when you get a live baby on screen and when you get a fake one. And a good chunk of the time, you're looking at the kid wondering why they even bothered if all they're going to do is show Bellucci holding a Cabbage Patch doll.


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