Shoot 'Em Up

Film
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Michael Davis’ audacious John Woo-style actioner opens with Clive Owen sitting on a bench munching a carrot as a pregnant woman stumbles by, clutching her stomach. Seconds later, a car comes crashing out of nowhere and this angry geezer gets out and threatens to kill the woman. So Owen strolls over and shoves his carrot through the guy’s mouth, and then, get this, delivers the woman’s child by shooting the umbilical cord. Then all hell breaks loose with as many as a dozen gunmen appearing from nowhere. Owen kills them all. In the first two minutes.

What follows is a relentless barrage of improbable shootouts so plentiful it’s like watching someone play ‘Halo’ on Xbox. It transpires that mind-reading hitman Mr Hertz (Paul Giamatti) and his platoon of thugs have been hired to kill the child because of a bone-marrow racket being perpetrated by an unknown authority figure. This is seedy, morally defunct, low-IQ cinema for airheads: it’s toe-curlingly violent and mostly plain nasty, but quite fun in a debauched kind of way. It deserves a couple of stars, but only for Giamatti, who stands out as an effective badman.

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