Manly men like Action. They like guns, boobs, explosions and vehicular destruction. In celebration of this manly bond we all share (sorry ladies) I have made a symbol all men can carry on them with pride. Below is your Man Card*. Go ahead and print this sucker out and get him in your wallet. Now go see Shoot ‘Em Up and feel free to chest-bump any and all that get in your way.
Many people are depressed about how violence in the media has diluted films and choked out semblance of a plot or character development. Shoot Em Up’s position on the topic is stated within the fist five minutes when Clive Owens character bellows ‘F you. You F’n F’ers’, in a celebration of the film’s R rated, no-holds barred approach to cinema. Logic is thrown to the wind and pure adrenaline takes its place. In the same initial 5-minutes Owen’s extreme character punches a carrot through a guy’s head, delivers a baby while shooting people, blows the umbilical cord away with a handgun and leaps across two buildings to evade Paul Giamatti’s character, shooting out a sign to spell “FUK U TOOL”.
Shoot ‘Em Up does have a point to its madness, and does a decent job of pointing the proverbial trigger-finger at its targets. Somehow the film manages to condemn the genre for being overloaded with violence and filth, whilst at the same time reveling in it to an astronomical degree. It’s a tongue-in-cheek version of 300. In addition to the self-parody and amped up satirical violence Owen’s mysterious character (Smith) vents to the moviegoers about all the little things he hates. Ranging from the misconception that a ponytail makes you look tough, to littering and changing lanes without an indicator. All the little things that everyone hates; Smith takes to heart and punishes the offenders. (He shoots off the guy’s ponytail, and rams the discourteous driver into a lamppost). This pet-peeve driven rampage and constant carrot eating is all we get as far as a character goes, and Smith is the most developed role in the whole film. Yes there are other characters and yes there is a plot, but wasting your attention on the details would defeat the whole purpose of seeing the movie.
The action is frenetic and fun, the situations are well thought-out and engaging, and the characters (though shallow) serve their 2D roles to the letter. Not for the faint at heart nor those who want a plot driven adventure, Shoot ‘Em Up delivers an action packed stunt show and nothing more. That said; if you don’t thoroughly enjoy this movie I’m afraid I’m going to have to go ahead and take your Man Card.
*Man Card creation (and its revocation) is plagiarized from Dr. Cox without any shame.