Shoot ’Em Up

Rated 4.0

Shoot ’Em Up is being taken as a lampoon or parody of action films, but that’s a misnomer. It doesn’t make fun of the conventions; it just doesn’t bother to adhere to them. It’s more of an offshoot, an action film that realizes the inherent silliness of the genre and embraces it. As such, it is funnier than most (if not all) comedies I’ve seen this year, and it certainly lived up to its name … sorta. I felt a little cheated that it wasn’t bloodier and yes, more mean-spirited. It’s one big ol’ cartoon, but I could have used a little more creativity in the mayhem … after about the 50th thug getting shot and falling down, it started getting old really fast (probably at about the 15-minute mark). Also, sometimes Paul Giamatti annoys me with his Richard Dreyfuss impression, and here as the main villain he is in full Dreyfuss-y manqué. But the sex scene with Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci was certainly creative. The film brings with it an excellent soundtrack (this may the first film since Heavy Metal where I felt tempted to headbang along), but it was no Crank. If Mötley Crüe were the standard for the action film, this would be Motörhead … not as satirical as Spinal Tap, but still with an outré sense of humor about itself. But as a headbanging mayhem monster, this is about the best I expect to see this year.