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Movies, Reviews

“Guns don’t kill people – but they sure help!”

01.22.08 | Comment?

Saw Shoot ‘Em Up last night. I had heard this described as possibly “the most ridiculous film ever conceived by Hollywood” and that’s not a criticism. As the film opens, Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) is sitting at a bus stop eating a carrot when a pregnant woman hurries past. Right behind her a tough guy in his car comes screeching to a halt, and proceeds to shout abuse as he chases her into a building.

Smith can’t let this pass, so he tags along and teaches the thug a lesson. Then, a half dozen heavily armed associates show up, and Smith is forced to shoot it out with them.

The story is framed as a cartoon (Smith munches on carrots; the bad guy even calls him a “wascally wabbit”), but it bears more resemblence to video games, specifically Max Payne, right down to Smith’s appearance. The absurdities don’t stop with the high body count or Smith’s virtuosity with firearms – for example, it only takes half an hour, maybe forty-five minutes, to locate someone on the run in New York City.

Taken by itself, the plot is actually fairly reasonable (as government conspiracy theories go). But do not let children or anyone with a weak disposition near this film. It’s rated R and for good reason. If you’re in the right mood it can be fun but it’s in the same league as, say, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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